Jun 14, 2021 07:51 UTC
  • Congress to probe 'rogue' actions of Trump's Justice Department

US Congress will probe “rogue” actions of the Department of Justice (DOJ) during former president Donald Trump's term, including its move to seize the communications records of Democratic lawmakers, according to two top Democratic lawmakers.

In 2017 and early 2018, the DOJ’s prosecutors seized data from Apple from two Democratic lawmakers on the House Intelligence Committee - Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell - as well as that of their staff and family members, The New York Times reported Thursday.

That happened during the probe into whether Trump and his campaign utilized links with Russia during the 2016 election.

"It certainly appears that they were using the Justice Department to go after the president's political enemies. There's a lot we don't know, obviously," Schiff told MSNBC.

Also, Swalwell told CNN on Thursday, "I was notified... by Apple that they did seize my records. It's wrong."

Meanwhile, Jeff Sessions, Trump’s first pick as attorney general, his successor, William Barr, and the long-serving deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein have all claimed that they were not aware of the alleged attempts by their department to harvest information covertly from leading Democrats, according to CNN.

On Sunday, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, vowed to subpoena both Barr and Sessions.

"This was nothing less than a gross abuse of power, an assault on the separation of powers," Schumer told a news conference in New York. "They must testify, Sessions and Barr must testify under oath as part of a formal congressional investigation."

The probe will run parallel with the DOJ's own internal watchdog’s investigation into its moves to subpoena phone records of Schiff and Swalwell.