Rep. Adam Schiff isn’t buying the claims of Trump’s DOJ officials that they knew nothing about their own department’s seizure of House Democrats’ communications records.
June 13, 2021

Schiff, now the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, was asked about the stream of denials from Trump’s DOJ officials that they knew nothing about the secret seizure of communications records belonging to House Intel Democrats.

“I’m skeptical,” Schiff said about the denials. He said it would be unprecedented for top officials not to know about such actions. But not knowing doesn’t make them look any better.

SCHIFF: It's one problem, obviously, if the attorney generals approved this, because they were being badgered by the president to go after his enemies. But it's another problem if they're unaware of it. What does it say about whether there are runaway people within the Justice Department engaging this kind of conduct?

While not all the facts are known, there is no evidence that any Republican records were seized. But the fact that records of 109 phone numbers and emails were subpoenaed shows “they didn’t know what they were looking for,” Schiff said. “That kind of a fishing expedition is its own problem,” he added.

“This is just one subset of broader problems,” Schiff continued. “Literally, we have to re-establish guardrails” to prevent any other president from pressuring the DOJ to go after his enemies. Schiff doesn’t want to just leave it to the inspector general, and he wants more than the subpoenas investigated.

SCHIFF: I think Congress should bring in the heads of the department over the last four years and force them to answer under oath. We know Bill Barr has a history of lying to the public. The abuse of the Justice Department to basically act as Donald Trump's -- even in suits for defamation that accused him of sexual assault or rape. That's a terrible abuse of the Department of Justice. There needs to be a wholesale review that should be done by Merrick Garland and Congress so we can put in place broader protections.

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