DOJ Leak Investigation Targeted Rep. Adam Schiff And His Family Members

from the how-do-you-like-those-expanded-powers-now,-Adam? dept

Former president Trump made plenty of noise about the Deep State being out to get him. But he apparently didn't see anything wrong with sending the Deep State after his enemies.

One of his main enemies was the press -- something he pointed out frequently when he still had viable social media accounts. Everyone who published anything that didn't glorify him and his actions deserved nothing more than disdain. They also, apparently, deserved DOJ investigations. The Trump White House was notoriously leaky and Trump allowed successive AGs to attempt to obtain journalists' communication records in hopes of discovering the source of multiple leaks.

One of his other nemeses was the (so-called) "Democrat" Party. Members of the opposition were also apparently targets of DOJ leak investigations. Somewhat ironically, one target was a strong supporter of unchecked surveillance and FBI abuse of NSA collections. Adam Schiff -- who inserted a loophole to allow the FBI to continue its backdoor searches of NSA collections while renewing Patriot Act powers -- was apparently singled out for the Deep State experience, according to this article by the New York Times.

As the Justice Department investigated who was behind leaks of classified information early in the Trump administration, it took a highly unusual step: Prosecutors subpoenaed Apple for data from the accounts of at least two Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee, aides and family members. One was a minor.

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.

This investigation centered on leaks surrounding the investigation of Trump's ties to Russia and that country's interference in the 2016 election. It began under Jeff Sessions but apparently hit a dead end. Investigators discussed shutting this investigation down, but it was revived by Trump's new DOJ lap dog, Bill Barr, when he succeeded Sessions.

Apple was hit with a gag order that prevented it from notifying Schiff and other targets about the DOJ's interest in their records. That order finally expired in 2021, nearly four years after it was issued.

Adam Schiff isn't too happy about this particular use of the DOJ's power.

Mr. Schiff called the subpoenas for data on committee members and staff another example of Mr. Trump using the Justice Department as a “cudgel against his political opponents and members of the media.”

We'll see if Schiff being on the receiving end of these powers will force him to rethink his position supporting the DOJ's use of this "cudgel" against everyday Americans who aren't on his team or work for media outlets that routinely criticize him.

And he's yet another person asking for the Inspector General to investigate the DOJ's willingness to violate trust and Constitutional amendments when conducting leak investigations. It will likely be months, if not years, before we see the end result of any investigations, but the growing chorus of voices demanding a closer look by the DOJ's oversight should make it more difficult to ignore.

The DOJ needs to answer for the abuses it has perpetrated in service to presidential administrations more interested in sealing leaks than respecting rights. And it needs to take solid, substantial steps to prevent this unfortunate history from repeating in the future, no matter who's running the country.

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Filed Under: adam schiff, doj, donald trump, fbi, leaks, surveillance, vendetta, william barr
Companies: apple


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  • icon
    Mark Gisleson (profile), 11 Jun 2021 @ 10:11am

    Good luck changing Schiff's mind

    Adam Schiff is barely smart enough to have an opinion, let alone rethink one.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 Jun 2021 @ 11:35am

      Re: Good luck changing Schiff's mind

      Compared to Trump, my turd that I just dropped is much smarter than Trump.

      Regardless, have any valid data to back up your claim?

      Otherwise, what's your point?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jun 2021 @ 10:55am

    FILE - In this May 28, 2019 file photo, Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., left, and Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., speak with members of the media on Capitol Hill in Washington. The Justice Department under former President Donald Trump secretly seized data from the accounts of at least two Democratic lawmakers in 2018 as part of an aggressive crackdown on leaks related to the Russia investigation and other national security matters, according to three people familiar with the seizures. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
    1 of 8
    FILE - In this May 28, 2019 file photo, Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., left, and Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., speak with members of the media on Capitol Hill in Washington. The Justice Department under former President Donald Trump secretly seized data from the accounts of at least two Democratic lawmakers in 2018 as part of an aggressive crackdown on leaks related to the Russia investigation and other national security matters, according to three people familiar with the seizures. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department asked for an internal investigation Friday after revelations that former President Donald Trump’s administration seized phone data from at least two House Democrats in 2018 as part of an aggressive leaks probe. Democrats called the disclosures “harrowing.”

    Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco made the request of the Justice Department’s inspector general, a senior Justice Department official told The Associated Press. The official could not discuss the matter publicly and spoke to AP on condition of anonymity. https://apnews.com/article/government-and-politics-donald-trump-ca-state-wire-europe-business-76af37 0a04c6d80613c9e9ba1e54c8c6

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Shel10 (profile), 11 Jun 2021 @ 12:24pm

    Let's not forget that DOJ under Obama did the same thing, and especially targeted journalists. Plus he started and investigation on Trump as soon as he announced. Also, there's the Russia collusion investigation which started in 2016.

    Then there's the matter of all of the leaking of classified information by democrat operatives, and members of the House and Senate. Adam Schiff, Eric Swalwell probably leaked most of the stuff.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 Jun 2021 @ 12:43pm

      Re:

      Do you happen to have any proof on your second assertion?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        David, 11 Jun 2021 @ 1:02pm

        Re: Re:

        Trump wouldn't have commanded Barr to investigate them if they weren't guilty. What more proof do you need?

        Hopefully more than the DOJ, like anybody still possessed with some sanity and dignity and sense of justice.

        But let's not forget that Trump didn't start from lofty heights but rather could work from the maxim "if I have been able to sink to unprecedented lows, it is because I started digging at the feet of lowlifes". The Obama DOJ certainly was nothing to be proud of in the land of the free and the home of the brave either.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 11 Jun 2021 @ 1:37pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Trump wouldn't have commanded Barr to investigate them

          A president should never be "commanding" an AG to investigate anybody! The DOJ should always be apolitical and independent from the White House.

          Anything Trump / Barr did was nothing more than chasing down their perceived political enemies for nothing more than political gain.

          if they weren't guilty.

          And guilty of what, exactly? Doesn't there need to be a court trial in order for somebody to be found guilty? Or do you just want to do away with due process and let the president decide who is or is not guilty?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 11 Jun 2021 @ 3:30pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            The President is the head of the Executive Branch. He does direct the DOJ. He is the chief law enforcement officer and commander in chief. The DOJ, then should conduct those investigations without political bias. A leak is illegal and harms national security. How would that not be a legitimate target? Please explain.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Rocky, 11 Jun 2021 @ 4:48pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              The President is the head of the Executive Branch. He does direct the DOJ. He is the chief law enforcement officer and commander in chief.

              No, the president only holds executive powers, see Separation of Powers Provisions in the Constitution, Article II, Section 1. It's the judicial branch that handles law enforcement.

              The point is, the president can ask the DOJ to investigate something - asking the DOJ to investigate specific people for specific "crimes", especially political adversaries and sitting members of congress seems to disregard the separation of powers and cannot be seen as anything other than a politically biased request.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 11 Jun 2021 @ 5:17pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              He is the chief law enforcement officer and commander in chief.

              The president is NOT the chief law enforcement officer. He is the commander in chief of the military, but the military has nothing to do with domestic law enforcement.

              What would the ramifications be if Biden decided to go on TV and state that he his ordering his DOJ to investigate Trump and his cronies? It would reek of political retribution and is one of the reasons why the AG should be independent from the White House and not take orders from the president.

              Hell, even Billy Barr made a point, in front of congress, that he would not take orders from Trump as to who should be investigated. He lied through his teeth, but it's what he said in order to maintain a semblance of independence.

              Also, I would really love to understand what makes you think that the President is the top law enforcement officer? That sounds to me like something fabricated in order to justify what Trump and Barr were doing in seeking retribution against their political enemies.

              And in case you question me as to who is the chief law enforcement officer:

              The Judiciary Act of 1789 created the Office of the Attorney General which evolved over the years into the head of the Department of Justice and chief law enforcement officer of the Federal Government.

              Source: https://www.justice.gov/ag/about-office

              Considering how you were wrong about something as simple, yet as important as who is the chief law enforcement officer, maybe you should question yourself as to what you really think you know about US government.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Rocky, 11 Jun 2021 @ 5:41pm

      Re:

      The DOJ under Obama had 3 investigations into leaks of classified information.

      The DOJ under Trump started 27 investigations into leaks of classified information, most of them directed at Trumps political adversaries and their families and the behest of Trump himself.

      Then there's the matter of all of the leaking of classified information by democrat operatives, and members of the House and Senate. Adam Schiff, Eric Swalwell probably leaked most of the stuff.

      So you work at the DOJ then and have access to the results of the investigations? Does that mean that you just leaked information from ongoing investigations that is classified under national security?

      Or perhaps you don't know anything at all and are just lying and making shit up.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 Jun 2021 @ 9:26pm

      Re:

      Unfortunately for you, the Speech and Debate clause gives Congressmen immunity from anything they say during Congressional sessions. If only you paid attention during civics class.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 11 Jun 2021 @ 12:53pm

    'I didn't think they'd try to eat MY face!'

    While I'm certainly not a big fan of the government spying on people in such a manner I find it just a titch hard to muster any sympathy when the person so spied on was all for the public having their communications rooted through.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Glenn, 11 Jun 2021 @ 6:39pm

    "Trump allowed..."?

    Trump ordered more like it, not simply encouraged (because... Nazi).

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    David, 11 Jun 2021 @ 6:46pm

    Someone remind me...

    What was Watergate all about again? Come to think of it, maybe someone remind the Republican party. You know, the party who forced their own president to step down because they were not going to stand for him spying on the Democratic party. And for him being dishonest.

    Wait, that can't be right. I need to read up on this again.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jun 2021 @ 11:09pm

    Did they rule out Claudia Conway?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Jun 2021 @ 7:54am

    Adam Schiff 2015 - if you've done nothing wrong, you have nothing to hide

    Adam Schiff 2021 - Stop investigating my finances, connections with the chinese government, millions in offshore stocks and shares and communications from random rent boys and druglords......its unfair

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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