June 18, 2021

In the United States, data from Democratic parliamentarians seized from Apple under Trump

Under the presidency of Donald Trump, the Department of Justice had data from two Democratic parliamentarians seized from Apple, the American daily reported on Friday (June 11). New York Times. The parliamentarians both sat on the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee.

Summons to obtain the disclosure of this data first targeted Adam Schiff, representative of California and at the time the main Democratic member of this commission, which he currently chairs. These seizures were made in 2017 and early 2018, as the ministry investigated leaks of classified information about contacts between the Trump administration and the Russian government, the newspaper continued.

In addition, representative Eric Swalwell told the American channel CNN on Thursday that he was the second Democratic representative of the commission targeted by the ministry. “I have been notified (…) by Apple that they had entered my data. It’s bad “, he said.

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Entering staff and family data

According to New York Times, prosecutors for the Department of Justice, then headed by Jeff Sessions, made unusual efforts to find the source of the leaks. They targeted the data of parliamentarians, therefore, but also that of their staff and their families, including a minor. Also according to the newspaper, they thought they were using the devices of their collaborators or children to hide contacts with journalists.

Finally, none of the data collected or other evidence allowed to link the parliamentarians or the intelligence committee to these leaks, specifies the daily. But the investigation was relaunched a year later by Justice Minister Bill Barr. Neither the Justice Department nor Apple have yet commented on this information.

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Such data entry is rare outside of corruption investigations. Mr. Schiff, without confirming that he was the target of the investigation, called for investigations by the Inspector General of the Ministry of Justice on “This and other cases, which suggest an instrumentalisation of the application of the law by a corrupt president”. M. Trump “Tried to use the ministry as a baton against its political opponents and members of the media”, said Mr. Schiff in a statement. “It is increasingly clear that these requests have not fallen on deaf ears. “

Non-disclosure notice expired

Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic Speaker of the House of Representatives, also called for investigations, calling it“Appalling” article from New York Times in a press release. For her, “These actions appear to be another flagrant assault on our democracy launched by the former president”.

The Justice Department had imposed a nondisclosure directive on Apple, which expired this year, and lawmakers were not aware of the investigations until the IT group notified them last month, according to the New York Times.

The World with AFP