Top Democrats demand answers on Trump DOJ's leak investigations


Former White House counsel Don McGahn is the latest person to find out the Trump administration subpoenaed his communications record in a politically motivated leak probe.

The two top Democrats in Congress are calling for the testimony of both Jeff Sessions and William Barr, the former attorneys general who served under Donald Trump, amid reports that the Trump administration's Justice Department subpoenaed the communication records of multiple high-ranking Democratic lawmakers, journalists, and even some former Trump officials.

Both Barr and Sessions, as well as former Trump Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, all denied they knew about the subpoenas.

But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Sunday that their denials strain credulity. And she added that if they didn't know, it raises even more questions about what was going on in Trump's Justice Department.

"How could it be that there could be an investigation of members in another branch of government, and the press and the rest too, and the attorneys general did not know?" Pelosi said in an appearance on CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday morning. "So who are these people and are they still in the Justice Department, and again this is just out of the question no matter who's president."

Pelosi's comments came after multiple outlets reported that former White House counsel Don McGahn was among the people whose records were subpoenaed as part of the Justice Department's probe into who was leaking information about Trump's behaviors that were damaging to his political ambitions.

Other officials whose communications records were subpoenaed include Democratic House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff and his family members, and Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA).

A host of journalists from outlets such as the New York Times, Washington Post, and CNN also had their records subpoenaed in leak probes.

Pelosi isn't the only Democrat who's condemned the probes and called for an investigation.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer called the subpoenas, "a gross abuse of power" and "an assault on the separation of powers."

"Barr, Sessions, and other officials involved must testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee under oath," Schumer tweeted on Friday, referring to the two former attorneys general under Trump. "If they refuse — they are subject to being subpoenaed and compelled to testify."

And Schiff, who drew Trump's ire thanks to his leading of the first impeachment probe, also said an investigation is needed.

"We need a full accounting of the Trump DOJ's abuse of power targeting Congress and the press," Schiff said. "An IG investigation is just the start. The full range of the misconduct must be examined, including Barr's efforts to protect those who lied to cover up, and go after Trump’s enemies."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.