By: Amoka Mele
Senator Mazie Hirono described the big news in Washington DC this week as apparently the Justice Department under President Trump was spying, essentially, on House Democrats on the Intelligence Committee and apparently Apple is involved as well.
The Trump Justice Department investigated who was behind leaks of classified information early in the Trump administration, it took a highly unusual step: prosecutors subpoenaed Apple for data from the accounts of at least two Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee, aides and family members.
All told, the records of at least a dozen people tied to the committee were seized in 2017 and early 2018, including those of Representative Adam Schiff of California, then the panel’s top Democrat and now its chairman, according to committee officials and two other people briefed on the inquiry.
Former Attorney General William P. Barr revived languishing leak investigations after he took office. He moved a trusted prosecutor from New Jersey to work on the Schiff-related case and about a half-dozen others, according to three people with knowledge of his work who did not want to be identified discussing federal investigations.
The zeal in the Trump administration’s efforts to hunt leakers led to the extraordinary step of subpoenaing communications metadata from members of Congress — a nearly unheard-of move outside of corruption investigations. While Justice Department leak investigations are routine, current and former congressional officials familiar with the inquiry said they could not recall an instance in which the records of lawmakers had been seized as part of one.
Moreover, the Justice Department secured a gag order on Apple that expired this year, according to a person familiar with the inquiry, so lawmakers did not know they were being investigated until Apple informed them in May 2021.
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Hirono said that the news was very shocking, but also not particularly unexpected because she said that President Trump was very eager to get information on Adam Schiff and others. Democrats are describing the alleged spying as another example of Trump’s total abuse of power. Given that April and May jobs reports were bad, inflation is rising, and vaccinations are stalling, Congressional Democrats would like nothing better than to parade a group of former Trump Justice Department officials in for hearings. That is why they waited to uncork news that Schiff and others had been surveilled by the Justice Department. Such news would certainly be intended to take the heat off Biden’s bad economic numbers.
Senator Hirono envisions former attorneys general Sessions and Barr coming to testify voluntarily, but if not, being subpoenaed. Hirono reported that the Biden Justice Department itself is going to have the inspector general investigate what happened, who authorized the surveillance and what was it for. Hirono said those decisions and discussions and investigations need to occur. She was certainly never so forceful and sure of guilt when it came to investigating Governor Andrew Cuomo’s allegations of sexual assault and harassment.
Mazie Hirono may not like what she and her fellow coup plotters discover during any upcoming hearings devised merely to distract the public away from Biden’s mental incapacity, economic failings, and rising inflation. When the Democrats peel back the onion, they may all be startled to find John Durham standing there with an arrest warrant for Shifty Adam Schiff and his accomplices.
What happens when the next slate of hearings strongly implicates Barack Obama and Joe Biden for approving the surveillance of an opposing Presidential campaign unlawfully? Is it possible that we could have two impeachments this year – one for Barack Obama and one for Joe Biden? We know from Trump’s second impeachment that former Presidents can now be impeached.
On second thought, I agree with Crazy Hirono. Let’s have those hearings. I think John Durham is preparing to give Democrats and America a lot to think about. Durham’s news plus dismal June economic numbers and missing July 4th vaccination milestones will begin the standing eight count for Democrats controlling Congress after the 2022 mid-term elections.