Majority Leader Chuck Schumer says Trump’s DOJ showed the ‘fingerprints of a dictatorship’ by secretly seizing phone data and urges Republicans to demand Bill Barr and Jeff Sessions testify
- Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer hammered the Trump Department of Justice for secretly seizing records from Democrats and journalists
- ‘What has happened here are fingerprints of a dictatorship, not a democracy,’ Schumer said at his Sunday news conference
- He said former attorneys general Bill Barr and Jeff Sessions should testify before Congress voluntarily or face a subpoena
- He also called on the outgoing Assistant Attorney General for the National Security Division John Demers to testify
‘What has happened here are fingerprints of a dictatorship, not a democracy,’ Schumer said.
Schumer said Assistant Attorney General for the National Security Division John Demers, who’s planning to resign from the department, as well as former attorneys general Bill Barr and Jeff Sessions, should testify before Congress voluntarily or face a subpoena.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said at a Sunday press conference in New York City that President Donald Trump’s Department of Justice showed the ‘fingerprints of a dictatorship, not a democracy’
He asked his Senate Republican colleagues, who twice acquitted Trump on impeachment charges, to join him in the push.
‘This was nothing less than a gross abuse of power, an assault on the separation of powers,’ Schumer continued. ‘I don’t think we’ve ever had a record of this ever happening in the past.’
Both Barr and Sessions deny knowing about the orders.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that was ‘beyond belief’ when she appeared on CNN’s State of the Union Sunday.
‘The Justice Department has been rogue under President Trump in so many respects,’ she said. ‘How could it be that there could be an investigation of the members in the other branch of government and the press and the rest too, and the attorneys general did not know?’
‘What the administration did, the Justice Department, the leadership of the former President, goes even beyond Richard Nixon,’ Pelosi also said.
During his presidency, Trump wanted to sniff out government officials who were leaking to the press, as his White House was plagued by embarrassing media reports.
Last week the news broke that the Justice Department had secretly subpoenaed Apple for metadata from House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, who was then the top Democrat on the GOP-controlled committee, which was investigating Trump’s ties to Russia.
Another top Democratic Intelligence committee member, Rep. Eric Swalwell, was also targeted.
Swalwell said he didn’t ‘buy it’ that Sessions are Barr were kept in the dark.
‘That’s not the way the department works. I know from my experience on the Intelligence Committee that for special matters – whether it involves the members of Congress or senior members, you know, in the press – this would go to the attorney general’s office,’ Swalwell said.
The Justice Department also asked Apple for metadata belonging to then White House counsel Don McGahn and his wife.
McGahn recently testified behind closed doors to the House Judiciary Committee, backing up many of the claims found in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report.
The DOJ also secretly went after communications belonging to eight journalists – one from CNN, three from The Washington Post and four from The New York Times.
CNN’s Barbara Starr, the network’s Pentagon reporter and the journalist targeted, spoke about it publicly Monday saying, ‘To say I was dumbfounded would be such a vast understatement.’
The network’s own attorney was under a gag order and so Starr only learned that the government was going after 30,000 of her emails from 2017 this May.