The Trump Justice Department sued Apple in 2018 to obtain the metadata of at least two Democratic members of the House Intelligence Committee, as well as their current and former staff, and even family, including a minor, a committee official tells NPR’s Ryan Lucas.
The story was first reported by the indicated by The New York Times. The subpoena was part of an effort to find the source of classified information leaks in the early years of the Trump administration. Ultimately, the data did not connect the committee to the leaks.
Apple informed the committee that the metadata had been seized after a gag order in the case was lifted in May 2021. The commission contacted the Biden Justice Department, which informed them that the investigation was closed, the commission official said.
The Justice Department declined to comment.
Congressman Adam Schiff, the California Democrat who chairs the House Intelligence Committee, confirmed he was informed by the Justice Department last month that an investigation into his committee was closed.
Congressman Eric Swalwell, a California Democrat serving on the panel, told CNN that he had been informed that his data had been seized.
The House Intelligence Committee later played a key role in investigating allegations into President Trump’s relations with Russia. Trump was eventually impeached by the House as a result of that investigation.
Schiff said in a statement that the revelation was yet another example of the politicization of the Justice Department under Trump, adding that he had requested an inquiry into the investigation.
“I believe more answers are needed, which is why I think the Inspector General should investigate these and other cases that point to the arming of law enforcement by a corrupt president,” he said.