Rep. Adam Schiff
(D-Calif.) blasted the Trump administration
's Justice Department
on Thursday night for allegedly subpoenaing Apple
for data from his and at least one other Democrat on the House
Intelligence Committee, which Schiff now chairs.
“It’s just another terrible abuse of the rule of law
,” the California
Democrat told CNN
’s Chris Cuomo
, admitting he was “shocked on the one hand, not surprised on the other” by the claims, which were first reported in The New York Times
, given the Department of Justice
’s misconduct during the Trump administration.
Schiff called the department's repeated targeting of Trump's opponents, as well as its "shield to protect those who lied for him," "disgraceful" and a "body
blow to our democracy
He slammed former Attorney General Bill Barr
in particular, citing his “long pattern of duplicity” in doing Trump’s bidding.
“I regard Bill Barr as the second most dangerous person in the country after Donald Trump
, and this is just more evidence of that,” Schiff said.
Rep. Adam Schiff says he was “shocked on the one hand, not surprised on the other” when he learned that his communications had been targeted by the Trump DOJ. “What they were looking for, I still don’t know... it’s just another terrible abuse of the rule of law.” pic.twitter.com/Gimhm7DXYw — Cuomo Prime Time (@CuomoPrimeTime) June 11, 2021
According to the Times, the DOJ subpoenaed data from Democrats
on the intelligence committee to Apple and an internet service provider in 2017 and 2018.
They also obtained metadata from committee members' aides and family members in an attempt to identify a leaker of classified information about Trump's alleged ties to Russia
. Prosecutors legally restrained Apple, but the order expired this year, allowing the company to notify those who had been targeted last month.
Rep. Eric Swalwell
(D-Calif.) said on Thursday that his information was also sought.
The true scope of the department's "fishing
expedition," according to Schiff, is unknown, and some lawmakers may mistake the Apple notification for a spearfishing attack
Schiff requested an investigation
by the department's independent inspector general in a statement issued in response to the Times report.
Trump had “repeatedly and flagrantly demanded that the Department of Justice carry out his political will,” and had attempted to use the department as a “cudgel against his political opponents and members of the media
,” according to the report.
“The former president
’s politicization of the department and attacks on the rule of law are among the most dangerous assaults on our democracy,” Schiff continued.
"I consider [former Trump Attorney General] Bill Barr to be the second most dangerous person in the country after Donald Trump, and this is just further proof," Democratic
Rep. Adam Schiff says in response to reports that his Apple data was targeted by the Trump Department of Justice. pic.twitter.com/6G2givvtWI — Cuomo Prime Time (@CuomoPrimeTime) June 11, 2021