Jim Jordan Declares Probe Into Alleged DOJ Spying on Congress Members, Staff

The House Judiciary Committee is investigating whether the Department of Justice spied on members of Congress and their staffs, according to Committee Chair and Republican Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio. Jordan sent letters to Alphabet, Apple, T-Mobile, AT&T, and Verizon demanding information about activities at the behest of the Justice Department that took place from Jan. 1, 2016, to the present, according to a news release on the panel’s website. The release said that on Oct. 19, Google told the former Chief Investigative Counsel to then-Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Republican Charles Grassley of Iowa that in 2017, Google was subpoenaed by the Justice Department seeking the individual’s personal phone records and emails. The release noted that this came as Grassley was investigating the Steele dossier, which contained salacious and since-discredited allegations about former President Donald Trump. “Google’s notification to this staffer revealed the Justice Department likely also sought the personal records and communications of other congressional staffers — both Republicans and Democrats — who engaged in oversight of the Department during the same period,” the release said, adding that the committee is trying to learn how wide the Justice Department’s net was cast. Jordan said he fears the Justice Department overstepped its bounds. “We now know that they spied on congressional staffers. We want to know, how far does it go? Were they spying on members? Were they spying on other staffers?” Jordan said in an interview with Fox Business. “Now we have learned that they spied on one of Senator Grassley’s staff members, Jason Foster. We want to know, does it go further?” Jordan said. Jordan said the panel needs to know how many members of the legislative branch were being investigated. “How far does this go? Were they spying on members? Were they spying on other staff? We want to know, and that’s why we’re taking it — because, again, the chilling effect this has — remember, we have a constitutional duty to do oversight of the executive branch,” he said. “If members of Congress and their staff now think, well, wait a minute, is the federal government, is the executive branch spying on us, looking at everyone I call, looking at all the e-mails we send from our work phone, from our personal phone, that’s going to have a chilling effect, and not to mention the separation of powers, which is a hallmark of our constitutional system.” The committee sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland asking for all information related to any effort to peek at the phone records of legislative branch members. “Google’s notification further raises the question of whether the Justice Department also requested any official records or communications on these staffers’ government devices,” the letter said. “The Justice Department’s efforts to obtain the private communications of congressional staffers, including staffers conducting oversight of the Department, is wholly unacceptable and offends fundamental separation of powers principles as well as Congress’s constitutional authority to conduct oversight of the Justice Department,” the letter continued. “This revelation also follows news that the Department issued subpoenas to obtain the private emails and records of congressional staffers on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence who were conducting oversight of the Justice Department’s Crossfire Hurricane investigation,” the letter said. Crossfire Hurricane was the name the FBI gave to its hunt for connections that did not exist between the 2016 Trump campaign and Russia. “These revelations strongly suggest that the Justice Department weaponized its law-enforcement authority to spy on the entities seeking to hold it accountable,” the letter said.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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