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'Beyond Nixon': Pelosi slams Trump DOJ's targeting of political enemies


The Trump-era Justice Department’s decision to secretly seize data of Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee went even beyond the nefarious actions of former President Richard Nixon, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Sunday.
The California Democrat also believes former Attorneys General Jeff Sessions and William Barr, as well as former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, should testify before Congress.
“What the administration did, the Justice Department, the leadership of the former President goes even beyond Richard Nixon. Richard Nixon had an enemies list. This is about undermining the rule of law,” Pelosi told CNN’s Dana Bash Sunday on “State of the Union.”
Prosecutors in the Trump administration’s Justice Department in 2018 subpoenaed Apple for data from the accounts of House Intelligence Committee Democrats along with their staff and family members as part of a leak investigation. Prosecutors were reportedly hunting for the sources behind news stories about contacts between Russia and Trump associates. Reps. Adam Schiff, who chairs the committee, and Eric Swalwell of California have revealed they were targeted.
The speaker added that the House will review the matter, and the Justice Department’s inspector general will also look into how the investigation was handled.
Sessions, who was attorney general at the time of the subpoena, had recused himself from matters related to Russia. Barr told Politico on Friday he doesn’t recall discussing a probe of lawmakers and CNN has reported that Rosenstein has privately been telling people he was not aware of the subpoena.
Pelosi on Sunday expressed disbelief at the idea that Sessions, Barr and Rosenstein were unaware of this activity within the Justice Department.
“How could it be that there could be an investigation of members of the other branch of government and the press and the rest, too, and the attorneys general did not know? So who are these people? And are they still in the Justice Department?” she said. “This is just out of the question — no matter who’s president, whatever party, this cannot be the way it goes.”
Asked by Bash on Sunday about potentially subpoenaing the three former Trump Justice Department officials to testify, Pelosi said she hoped “they will want to honor the rule of law” before the House would need to consider that step.

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Robert Dunfee