Justice Dept watchdog to probe seizure of Democrats’ communications data

The U.S. Justice Department’s internal watchdog will probe efforts by the department during former President Donald Trump’s administration to seize the communications data of Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives, the watchdog confirmed.

Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz said his office was beginning a review of the department’s “use of subpoenas and other legal authorities to obtain communication records of Members of Congress and affiliated persons, and the news media in connection with recent investigations of alleged unauthorized disclosures of information to the media by government officials.”

Horowitz said in a statement that his review will “examine the Department’s compliance with applicable DOJ policies and procedures, and whether any such uses, or the investigations, were based upon improper considerations.” He said his inquiry could expand if unspecified “other issues” arise during the probe.

The inspector general announced his review after Senate Democrats on Friday demanded that two former U.S. attorneys general testify about reported subpoenas of records of members of Congress by Trump’s Justice Department. A White House official criticized the Trump administration actions as “appalling.”

Trump’s Justice Department subpoenaed Apple Inc (AAPL.O) for data from the accounts of at least two Democrats on the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee in an attempt to find out who was behind leaks of classified information, the New York Times reported on Thursday. read more

Source: Reuters