The Department of Justice’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) will review the subpoenas of communications records belonging to two House Democrats and the New York Times.
“The DOJ OIG is reviewing the DOJ’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,” the Office announced in a Friday press release.
Department of Justice Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz announced today the initiation of a Review of the DOJ’s Use of Subpoenas & Other Legal Authorities to Obtain Communication Records of Members of Congress and Affiliated Persons, and the News Mediahttps://t.co/sMbYCmldju pic.twitter.com/Ft0JRYvMGN
— Justice OIG (@JusticeOIG) June 11, 2021
The phone metadata of Democratic California Reps. Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell was subpoenaed by the DOJ in 2017 and 2018 as part of a wider probe into leaks associated with the Russia investigation. Their staffers and family members’ communications were also subpoenaed. Emails belonging to four New York Times reporters were subpoenaed by the DOJ in 2017 in connection with a leak investigation. The Times believes that that investigation targeted former FBI Director James Comey. (RELATED: Comey Admits He Orchestrated Leaks To New York Times)
The DOJ used gag orders to prevent the New York Times and Apple from publicly acknowledging the subpoenas. Apple held the metadata for Schiff’s and Swalwell’s communications. Press Secretary Jen Psaki previously denied that the Biden administration was aware of the New York Times gag order.
Schiff and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi called for an investigation into the subpoenas.
“The Inspector General should investigate this and other cases that suggest the weaponization of law enforcement by a corrupt president,” Schiff told NBC News on Thursday.
“I support Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff’s call for an investigation into this situation and other acts of the weaponization of law enforcement by the former president. Transparency is essential,” Pelosi added in a statement.