New York Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik on Tuesday defended the Trump administration’s attempt to reportedly seize private information of Democrats during the Russia investigation.
Stefanik defended the Department of Justice’s seizure of phones, emails and other records of Democratic lawmakers during the Trump administration in order to tamp down on leaks surrounding the Russia probe. “We’ve seen illegal leaks from our colleagues on the House Intelligence Committee,” Stefanik said at a press conference Tuesday. “So I think it’s important that the Department of Justice determine if there were any illegal leaks, leaks by members of Congress, or their staff members.”
The DOJ subpoenaed the records of Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff and Rep. Eric Swalwell along with their staff and family members, including a minor.
“We’ve seen illegal leaks from our colleagues on the House Intelligence Committee,” Stefanik said at a press conference Tuesday. “So I think it’s important that the Department of Justice determine if there were any illegal leaks, leaks by members of Congress, or their staff members.”
Michael E. Horowitz, the Department of Justice’s inspector general, announced on Friday that he is investigating whether Trump administration officials abused their power to seek records. The House and Senate Judiciary committees also have launched investigations.
Stefanik slammed Schiff for releasing information about California Republican Rep. Devin Nunes during the House Intelligence Committee’s investigation of Trump’s call with the Ukrainian president to investigate Hunter Biden.
“That is unethical. Frankly, I believe that’s illegal,” Stefanik said. (RELATED: Trump’s DOJ Official Resigns Amid Uproar Over Spying Scandal)
The Department of Justice didn’t respond to a request for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.
“Chairman Schiff never issued subpoenas for phone records for Members, despite many false assertions otherwise. As a member of our committee, Rep. Stefanik should know better,” Lauren French, Schiff’s spokeswoman said in an email to The Hill.
“We should all focus on getting answers and making sure the DOJ is never weaponized for political purposes ever again, not spreading falsehoods like these to defend President Trump and the destructive actions of his administration,” French said to the Hill.
“But make no mistake, there have been illegal leaks from members of Congress. That’s a national security risk. That is a federal crime. It’s very serious and we want to make sure that the Department of Justice is able to pursue any type of criminal illegal leaks,” Stefanik said.
Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact email@example.com.