Justice Department watchdog to investigate Trump administration's seizure of Democrats' phone data
The Justice Department's internal guard says it will investigate the Trump administration's seizure of communications records from two Democratic members of the House Intelligence Committee. The inquiries were made by former Attorney General Jeff Sessions and William Barr in their aggressive investigation to find the source of the leaks over Trump's campaigning ties with Russia in 2016.
The Justice Department's internal watchdog says it will investigate the Trump administration's seizure of communications records from two Democratic members of the House Intelligence Committee. The inquiries were made by former Attorney General Jeff Sessions and William Barr in their aggressive investigation to find the source of leaks over Trump's campaign relations with Russia in 2016. Jeff Pegues reports.
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JEFF PEGUES: The phone logs seized are from 2017 and 2018, when the House Intelligence Committee investigation into Russia was ongoing. President Trump wanted to know where the leaks were coming from. Justice Department attorneys have clandestinely cited phone information from Apple for Democrats Eric Swalwell and Adam Schiff and their loved ones, including a minor.
ADAM SCHIFF: It's another horrific Justice Department abuse, another breaking of standards since Watergate.
JEFF PEGUES: Ship was a frequent target of the President.
DONALD TRUMP: And clever ship, what about this guy?
JEFF PEGUES: Attorney General William Barr continued investigating the leak and stumbled when asked by then Senator Kamala Harris whether the President or anyone in the White House had directed him to open an investigation.
BILL BARR: I wouldn't--
KAMALA HARRIS: Yes or no?
BILL BARR: Could you repeat that question? I don't know, I wouldn't say suggested.
KAMALA HARRIS: Indicated?
BILL BARR: I don't know.
JEFF PEGUES: Former Republican Attorney General Alberto Gonzales says the phone record subpoenas are worrying. From what you know, was that contrary to the DOJ policy?
ALBERTO GONZALES: What is reported here certainly does not contradict politics, but contradicts the best traditions of the department.
JEFF PEGUES: The Inspector General will be investigating the use of DOJ subpoenas on Apple and Microsoft. Not just to get the cellphone and email records of members of Congress, but also from the news media related to the recent leak investigation. In addition, the Senate Democrats are demanding that former AGs William Barr and Jeff Sessions testify on Capitol Hill. For CBS This Morning, Saturday, Jeff Pegues in Washington.
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