Garland Subpoenaed Over DOJ’s Surveillance Of Ex-Trump Congressional Staffers

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) recently subpoenaed Attorney General Merrick Garland concerning the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) surveillance of congressional staff who served under then-President Donald Trump. Jordan is demanding that Garland turn over all documents relating to the matter.

The subpoena comes as a request from Jordan, who is seeking information about the subpoena to Google in 2017 for information on a former Senate Judiciary staffer, among other congressional aides.

In October 2023, former Senate Judiciary Committee staffer Jason Foster, who served as an investigative counsel for the panel under then-Chairman Rep. Chuck Grassley (R-IO), revealed that DOJ officials had sought his congressional communications during the onset of the Trump administration.

Foster said the department maintained that such communications were relevant to the far left’s now-debunked allegations of “collusion” between Trump and the Russian government.

Jordan recently sent Garland a letter, saying that “the Executive Branch used its immense law-enforcement authority to gather and search the private communications of multiple Legislative Branch employees who were conducting Constitutional oversight of the department’s investigative actions — actions that were later found to be unlawful.”

The subpoena seeks for the DOJ to hand over any documents relating to the department’s efforts in obtaining communications from congressional members.

Responding to Jordan’s subpoena, the DOJ sent the Ohio congressman a letter, saying that Foster’s communications were sought in connection to an ongoing investigation at the time into a leak of classified information.

“The investigation was initiated after a referral for criminal investigation was made by the National Security Division by a member of the U.S. Intelligence Community,” the department wrote in a letter, adding that the DOJ had requested information from Congress protected by the Speech and Debate Clause for its investigation.

The former Director of Security for the Senate Intelligence Committee, James Wolfe, was sentenced to two months in prison after pleading guilty to lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) during the agency’s investigation into unlawful disclosure of classified national security information.

Jordan noted that Garland has until Jan. 19, 2024, to comply with the subpoena.
“Because the Department has not complied in full with our requests, we cannot independently determine whether the Department sought to alleviate the heightened separation-of-powers sensitivities involved or whether the Department first sought the information through other means before resorting to legal process,” Jordan’s letter reads.

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