House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on Sunday decried the Trump administration’s secret seizing of Apple data records of House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) as going “even beyond Richard Nixon.”
“Richard Nixon had an enemy’s list,” Pelosi said. “This is about undermining the rule of law.”
Pelosi then took aim at former Attorneys General Bill Barr and Jeff Sessions, who denied knowledge of the secret subpoenas targeting Democratic lawmakers as part of a leaks probe during the Trump administration.
The House speaker, who previously described the secret subpoenas as an “egregious assault on our democracy” by the Trump administration, also echoed calls by her colleagues in Democratic leadership demanding that the former attorneys general testify under oath.
“It is beyond belief. So, we will have to have them come under oath to testify about that,” Pelosi said. “Now, how could it be that undermining the rule of law, undermining the separation of power of the executive branch and the legislative branch, and having these just data mining is something new in terms of where technology has taken us, but not new in terms of something that should never have happened?”
Pelosi argued that although the DOJ inspector general’s investigation into the seizure of the lawmakers and reporters’ data by the previous administration is “very important,” it is “not a substitute” for what Congress must do.
“I know that the Senate has called for some review,” Pelosi said. “We will certainly have that in the House of Representatives.”
Asked whether she would consider subpoenas for Barr, Sessions and former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to testify before Congress if they don’t voluntarily do so, Pelosi replied that her hope is that they “honor the rule of law.”
“The Justice Department has been rogue under President Trump, understand that, in so many respects,” Pelosi said. “This is just another manifestation of their rogue activity.”
Pelosi’s remarks come in response to The New York Times‘ report last week that Trump administration officials seized records from Apple for metadata from at least two Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee, congressional aides and their family members in 2017 and 2018 in an effort to uncover who was behind leaks of classified or damaging information about former President Trump to the press.
The Trump administration’s probe reportedly zeroed in on leaks of classified information related to conversations between Trump’s advisers and a Russian official, as well as former national security adviser Michael Flynn.
Watch Pelosi’s remarks below:
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi: "The Justice Department has been rogue under President Trump … This is just another manifestation of their rogue activity." https://t.co/UUezBIMe9q #CNNSOTU pic.twitter.com/J8yxHCgrhd
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) June 13, 2021