Under Jeff Sessions, the Justice Department seized records from Apple for House Intelligence Committee members, their aides and family members. Bill Barr continued the investigation.
June 11, 2021

As the Trump Justice Department looked into who was leaking reports of contacts between Trump associates and Russia, prosecutors subpoenaed Apple for data from Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee (including Rep. Adam Schiff), aides and family members. One was a minor. And the only reason we know this happened is that the gag order on Apple just expired. Via the New York Times:

All told, the records of at least a dozen people tied to the committee were seized in 2017 and early 2018, including those of Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, then the panel’s top Democrat and now its chairman, according to committee officials and two other people briefed on the inquiry. Representative Eric Swalwell of California said in an interview Thursday night that he had also been notified that his data had been subpoenaed.

Prosecutors, under the beleaguered attorney general, Jeff Sessions, were hunting for the sources behind news media reports about contacts between Trump associates and Russia. Ultimately, the data and other evidence did not tie the committee to the leaks, and investigators debated whether they had hit a dead end and some even discussed closing the inquiry.

But William P. Barr revived languishing leak investigations after he became attorney general a year later. He moved a trusted prosecutor from New Jersey with little relevant experience to the main Justice Department to work on the Schiff-related case and about a half-dozen others, according to three people with knowledge of his work who did not want to be identified discussing federal investigations.

This is pretty much unheard of move outside of corruption investigations. The records of lawmakers just aren't seized, which tells you something about the effect Trump had on most of the people around him. They did what they were told, no matter how uncomfortable they may have been.


Can you help us out?

For nearly 20 years we have been exposing Washington lies and untangling media deceit, but now Facebook is drowning us in an ocean of right wing lies. Please give a one-time or recurring donation, or buy a year's subscription for an ad-free experience. Thank you.


We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service for information on our posting policy.