- Trump’s Justice Department seized records from Apple that belonged to Democrats in Congress.
- House Intel Committee members Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell were targeted, along with their families and staffers.
- The DOJ was looking for the source of leaks regarding the Russia investigation.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
While searching for the source of leaked intelligence regarding the Russia investigation, Trump’s Justice Department seized records from Apple belonging to Democrats in Congress, The New York Times reported Thursday.
A grand jury subpoenaed Apple for communications data belonging to people surrounding the House Intelligence Committee. A source told The Times that Apple delivered metadata and account information, but not emails, photos, or other content.
The records belonged to members of the committee, including Rep. Adam Schiff of California, as well as their staffers and families, including one minor, The Times reported. The records of at least 12 people were obtained in 2017 and 2018.
Schiff served as the committee’s ranking member at the time. He now serves as chairman.
Rep. Eric Swalwell of California told CNN’s Don Lemon that he was the other Democrat who had his records seized. He also confirmed that records of his family, including a minor, were obtained, saying he believed “they were targeted punitively, not for any reason in law but because Donald Trump identified Chairman Schiff and members of the committee as an enemy of his.”
The Times reported that officials were looking for the source of leaked information concerning Trump allies’ communications with Russia, but that the records did not connect the leaks to the committee.
The probe into the records began under Attorney General Jeff Sessions and was revived under his successor, Bill Barr, sources told The Times.
The department also successfully restricted Apple from making their records requests public, so the targeted lawmakers were unaware they were being examined until Apple informed them last month after the gag order expired.
In a statement provided to Insider, Schiff blasted former President Donald Trump for targeting committee members and called for an investigation.
“President Trump repeatedly and flagrantly demanded that the Department of Justice carry out his political will, and tried to use the Department as a cudgel against his political opponents and members of the media,” he said. “The politicization of the Department and the attacks on the rule of law are among the most dangerous assaults on our democracy carried out by the former President.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called the revelation “harrowing” and also called for an investigation.
A representative for Apple declined to comment, The Times said.
The news comes on the heels of recent disclosures that the Justice Department sought the records of journalists at The Times, The Washington Post, and CNN in an attempt to identify their sources, a move that was widely panned by press freedom advocates, but that has been used in past administrations as well.
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