The US Department of Justice is tightening its rules for obtaining information about members of Congress. In the announcement, Secretary Garland emphasized the importance of the rule of law and the separation of powers. Garland said political interests should not play a role in legal investigations.
The announcement comes after US media revealed that the Trump administration requested communications data from prominent Democratic members of Congress in 2018.
The House Judiciary Committee announced an investigation into the data recovery at the time. The Ministry of Justice itself has also launched an investigation. Democrats also want Trump’s lawyers, William Barr and Jeff Sessions, to testify on the case. House Republican Leader Mitch McConnell responded forcefully, calling it a “political manhunt in the making.”
Prominent Congressman Adam Schiff, among others, was a target at the time. He is currently the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. The Department of Justice is said to have requested the data from Apple in 2018, in an effort to find out who leaked about the Russian investigation against the then president. It also requested information from journalists. Apple says it doesn’t know what data is needed. No images, emails or messages have been reported, just approximate data.
At the time, Apple said a request had been made for information on 73 phone numbers and 36 email addresses. The company said it had to keep it a secret.
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