Trump DOJ Subpoenaed Apple For Data On More Than 100 Phone Numbers And Email Addresses In Leak Probe

President Donald Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions attend a panel at the White House on opioid and drug abuse on March 29, 2017. (Photo by Shawn Thew-Pool/Getty Images)
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June 12, 2021 11:24 a.m.

Prosecutors subpoenaed Apple in February 2018 for data on 73 phone numbers and 36 email address as part of the Trump Justice Department’s investigation into leaks of classified information, according to multiple reports.

The New York Times reported on Friday that Apple said it had received the Justice Department’s grand jury subpoena on Feb. 6, 2018, but that the request had not disclosed information about the nature of the investigation or its targets. According to the Times, the company said it was only later that it learned the information it had handed over belonged to at least two Democratic lawmakers,  staffers and their families, including a minor.

The new details about just how many phone numbers and emails had been included in the request, come after the Times reported on Thursday that the Justice Department had issued the subpoena as part of an investigation into leaks of classified information. Two California Democrats, Reps. Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell, said they received notice last month that their data had been seized.

They were informed after a gag order that had previously been extended three times, expired this year and the company was finally able to alert the affected customers.

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A person familiar with the request told CNN that the subpoena had demanded information from the tech giant beginning with the opening of the targeted accounts through the date of the subpoena.

An Apple spokesperson said no information had been provided in the subpoena about the nature of the probe.

“In this case, the subpoena, which was issued by a federal grand jury and included a nondisclosure order signed by a federal magistrate judge, provided no information on the nature of the investigation and it would have been virtually impossible for Apple to understand the intent of the desired information without digging through users’ accounts,” Apple spokesperson Fred Sainz said in a statement.

Sainz added that consistent with the request, “Apple limited the information it provided to account subscriber information and did not provide any content such as emails or pictures.”

The statement from Apple comes as the Justice Department’s independent inspector general announced on Friday an investigation into the decision by federal prosecutors to secretly seize the data of House Democrats and reporters after earlier reports indicated that the Justice Department had also seized communication records from several journalists from the New York Times, the Washington Post, and CNN.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) demanded on Friday that former attorneys general Bill Barr and Jeff Sessions testify before Congress about the leak investigations, and specifically address the subpoena issued to Apple and another to Microsoft.

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