When it was revealed last week that the Trump Department of Justice targeted Democrats Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell for information obtained through Apple, leftists used a common rightwing argument that the “Deep State” was out to get us, except it was Trump who was benefitting. That narrative sank today when it was revealed through the same whistleblower that the DoJ also targeted Trump attorney Don McGahn.
First, here’s a recap of last week’s story from Yahoo:
During the Trump administration, the Department of Justice launched an investigation into leaks of classified information, and subpoenaed Apple for data from accounts belonging to members of the House Intelligence Committee, their aides, and family members, The New York Times reports. One of the people involved was Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), then the top Democrat on the committee and a vocal critic of former President Donald Trump.
In 2017 and 2018, the records of 12 people with connections to the committee — including a minor — were seized, several people with knowledge of the matter told the Times. The investigation began under then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions, with prosecutors tasked with figuring out who was leaking information about contacts Trump associates had with Russian officials.
They looked at national security officials who were part of the Obama administration, five people familiar with the matter told the Times, and while most were ruled out, the DOJ opened cases focusing on then-FBI Director James Comey and his deputy, Andrew McCabe. Apple only passed along metadata and account information, the Times reports, and was put under a gag order, which expired this year. In May, the company notified lawmakers to tell them about the leak investigation, the Times reports.
Admittedly, it did appear based on this early information that the DoJ was working on behalf of the Trump administration. But Trump allies have said the DoJ was working alone in these operations and without the knowledge nor consent of the White House. Today’s revelation seems to vindicate the Trump administration and verify its claims as the same method used against Democrats was also used against Republicans, include President Trump’s closest personal attorney at the time.
According to Fox News:
Apple informed former Trump administration White House counsel Don McGahn that the Justice Department subpoenaed information about an email account of his in 2018, and forbade Apple from letting him know, according to a New York Times report.
McGahn’s wife also received a notice of the same kind, the report said, with one source telling the newspaper that Apple received the subpoena on Feb. 23 and another saying it came from a federal grand jury in the Eastern District of Virginia.
Fox News reached out to Apple and the Justice Department for comment but they did not immediately respond.
The report was light on details about the DOJ’s investigation, noting that it was unknown what federal investigators were looking into, or whether McGahn himself was their primary focus or someone with whom he had been in contact. A Times source told the publication that Apple did not tell McGahn what they had turned over.
The Times report did note that Apple received the McGahn subpoena weeks after another subpoena related to an investigation of leaked information related to the Russia probe. That subpoena, reported by the Times last week, covered information including records belonging to California Democratic Reps. Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell, both fierce critics of Trump while he was in office.
What does this mean? In the smaller frame it means that there was at least one operation and potentially several operations within the Department of Justice that targeted DC political figures in order to gather information. It’s unclear what was being investigated or why. It isn’t even clear if the “investigations” were manufactured for the sake of collecting dirt, a practice known to have been developed by J. Edgar Hoover and that is quietly still used today by the Deep State.
In the bigger picture, this tells us there are no Deep State “allies,” at least not as it pertains to one party or the other. There are only targets and those targets can be from either side of the political aisle.
The more we learn about the Department of Justice, the clearer it becomes that they’re working for themselves regardless of who is in the White House. When Deep State controls both elected officials and the bureaucracy, they’re untouchable.
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