• December 10, 2023

Trump Justice Department Subpoenaed Apple For Info On Former White House Counsel : NPR

Former White House attorney Donald McGahn appears before a Senate judicial committee on Capitol Hill in September 2018. Hide the Washington Post caption via Getty Images

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The Washington Post via Getty Images

Former White House attorney Donald McGahn appears before a Senate judicial committee on Capitol Hill in September 2018.

The Washington Post via Getty Images

The Justice Department clandestinely summoned Apple in February 2018 for account information from then White House attorney, Don McGahn, and his wife, and obtained a blocking order prohibiting the company from telling them, according to a person familiar with the matter.

It is unclear what the Justice Department investigated or whether the prosecution actually received any account information from McGahn, the person said due to the sensitivity of the matter on condition of anonymity.

Apple notified the McGahns of the subpoena last month after the gag order expired. The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The Justice Department declined to comment.

It is highly unusual for the Justice Department to subpoena the files of an incumbent White House attorney. The news of the summons first reported from the New York Times, Comes days after it became known that the Trump-era Justice Department also cited Apple as part of a leak investigation into communications metadata from at least two Democratic members of the House Intelligence Committee, current and former employees and family members.

These seizures are now at a glance by the Inspector General of the Ministry of Justice. The two MPs whose data was seized were Adam Schiff, the committee’s chief Democrat, and Eric Swalwell.

The Justice Department watchdog will review an investigation into Trump-era Democratic lawmakers

Both Schiff and Swalwell were outspoken critics of former President Donald Trump and both served as impeachment managers against the former president during his two Senate impeachment trials. Schiff presided over as manager during Trump’s first impeachment in 2020; Swalwell during the second impeachment trial earlier this year.

McGahn left the White House in late 2018, but while in the attorney’s office he was a key figure in Trump’s environment and in former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

Ex-White House attorney describes pressure he felt from Trump during the Russia investigation

While the Mueller investigation closed in 2019, McGahn was testified earlier this month before the House of Representatives’ Democrat-led Judiciary Committee a lengthy two year legal battle. Testimony from that gig was released last week and showed the extent to which McGahn felt pressured to do wrong by Trump.

McGahn told the committee he was particularly concerned by Trump’s repeated requests to facilitate the sacking of Mueller, who had been tasked with investigating possible links between Trump’s 2016 campaign and Russia.

Top Democrats in Congress are now calling on former Attorney General William Barr and Jeff Sessions to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee about the subpoenas – calls that are sure to get louder after the McGahn revelations.

“The revelation that the Trump Justice Department secretly subpoenaed metadata from members and staff of the House Intelligence Committee and their families, including a minor, is shocking,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer told DN.Y. D-Ill., In a statement on Friday. “This is a gross abuse of power and an attack on the separation of powers.”


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