(FiveNation.com)- The internal watchdog at the Department of Justice is planning to investigate actions of the DOJ under the Trump administration.
The probe will investigate the secret seizure of Democratic lawmakers’ data as well as that of reporters. The DOJ initiated these seizures during investigations into possible leaks.
In both 2017 and 2018, the DOJ issued subpoenas that sought metadata from California Representatives Eric Swalwell and Adam Schiff, who is the chair of the House Intelligence Committee.
Recently, the DOJ also notified various reporters at three media outlets that their records were also sought in similar type of investigations. The DOJ has since dropped the gag orders that were limiting their disclosure of those seizures.
The inspector general for the DOJ, Michael Horowitz, said in a statement late last week:
“The 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.”
Democratic lawmakers are calling for full-fledged investigations into the matter. Some have even called for a full congressional review.
Democratic Senators Dick Durbin, the chair of the Judiciary Committee, and Chuck Schumer, the Senate Majority Leader, also want Jeff Sessions and William Barr, both former attorneys general under Trump, to testify before the Judiciary Committee.
In a joint statement, the two senators said:
“The revelation that the Trump Justice Department secretly subpoenaed metadata of House Intelligence Committee Members and staff and their families, including a minor, is shocking. This is a gross abuse of power and an assault on the separation of powers. This appalling politicization of the Department of Justice by Donald Trump and his sycophants must be investigated immediately by both the DOJ Inspector General and Congress.”
The New York Times first reported the secret subpoenas. Early on in his presidency, the Trump DOJ sent subpoenas to Apple for Schiff and Swalwell’s metadata, as well as that of their family members. Then, Apple had a gag order placed on it, meaning they couldn’t talk to anyone about the subpoenas.
With those gag orders gone, the information got out, and liberals are now up in arms.
Schiff and Swalwell were huge critics of Trump during his time in the White House. Now that they have found out they were the center of DOJ investigations, they aren’t too happy about it.
Late last week, Schiff said an investigation into the DOJ’s actions would only be the first step in an important process. He said:
“This incident must be viewed in the context of the systemic politicization of the Department and its mission, and other flagrant abuses — including the personal investigation of then-President Trump in choosing targets of investigation.
“As crucial as it will be, the IG’s investigation will not obviate the need for other forms of oversight and accountability — including public oversight by Congress — and the Department. must cooperate in that effort as well.
“In the meantime, the Attorney General needs to do a full damage assessment of the conduct of the department over the last four years and outline all of the accountability and mitigation necessary to protect the public going forward.”