Congress Announces Federal Probe Of Trump/DOJ Spying Scandal

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The recent news that the Department of Justice under former President Donald Trump issued secret subpoenas that allowed them to spy on two members of Congress, members of the news media, and even Trump’s White House Counsel Don McGahn has shocked a nation that thought they couldn’t be shocked anymore by this administration. Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, announced on Monday that a formal investigation has begun into the reports.

The latest target of the Trump DOJ’s subpoenas is Don McGahn, and Apple says it was forced by the Trump Administration to hand over his data and keep the intrusion a secret in 2018. At that time, before Democrats won a majority in Congress in the midterms, McGahn was being subpoenaed by Congress to answer questions about possible obstructions of justice committed by Trump. Nadler said that the news may not be related to prior reports about the same tactics being used against Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA), as well as members of the news media, but the questions must be asked.

‘It remains possible that these cases – which now include Members of Congress, members of the press, and Trump’s own WH Counsel – are isolated incidents. Even if these reports are completely unrelated, they raise serious Constitutional and separation of power concerns.’

The reports raise issues related to the separation of powers, as Congress is equal in power to the president. If there is evidence that the Trump DOJ spied on members of Congress, two of whom served in top positions during Trump’s impeachment trial, the crime would create a constitutional crisis.

‘Congress must make it extraordinarily difficult, if not impossible, for the Department to spy on the Congress or the news media. We should make it hard for prosecutors to hide behind secret gag orders for years at a time. We cannot rely on the Department alone to make these changes.’

 

Although Republicans have insisted that the investigation should be left up to the IG, who Attorney General Merrick Garland turned over the investigation to, has been met with criticism from House Democrats. An congressional investigation into the matter is already underway.

‘The House Judiciary Committee will investigate the Trump administration’s surveillance of Members of Congress, the news media, and others. I have instructed my staff to begin that work right away.’