The U.S. Department of Justice, led by former President Donald Trump, sued Apple over information from the accounts of at least two Democrats in the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee in an attempt to find out who is behind the leaks of classified information, the New York Times said Thursday.
At least a dozen individuals tied to the committee were arrested in 2017 and early 2018, including Adam Schiff, the top Democrat at the time and now its chairman. The Times said.
The paper mentioned unnamed committee officials and two other individuals who received a report on the study of the report.
Prosecutors for Jeff Session, the Trump’s Republican administration’s first attorney, are trying to find sources behind the media about links between Trump’s affiliates and Russia, the Times said.
“After all, the information and other evidence did not bind the committee to leaks, and investigators discussed whether they were at a dead end, and some even discussed ending the investigation,” the paper said.
Apple only provided metadata and account information, not photos, emails or other content, the Times said.
The Department of Justice also included Apple data from the accounts of committee assistants and family members, the Times said. It did not nominate other MEPs besides Schiff.
In recent years, Trump’s Attorney General William Barr revived the investigation, it was reported.
In a statement to Reuters, Schiff said the Department of Justice informed the committee last month that the investigation was over.
“I believe more answers are needed, which is why I believe the High Commissioner should investigate this and other cases that point to the arming of law enforcement by a corrupt president,” Schiff said.
Parliament spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat, said in a statement to Reuters that the news was “disturbing” and said she supported Schiff’s request to investigate.
The Times said the Justice Department “secured a gag order for Apple, which expired this year, according to a person familiar with the investigation, so lawmakers didn’t know they were being investigated until Apple notified them last month.”
The Department of Justice and Apple did not respond immediately to Reuters’ requests for comment.
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