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NYT: Trump Also Ordered DOJ to Spy on McGahn in 2018

NYT: Trump Also Ordered DOJ to Spy on McGahn in 2018

The New York Times continues to break new revelations in the subpoena scandal involving Trump’s Department of Justice. Aside from top Democrats like Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell, Trump ordered William Barr to obtain the private digital information of a member of his own administration.

According to the Times, Apple just last month told Don McGahn, Trump’s former White House counsel, that the Justice Department had subpoenaed information about an account that belonged to him in February 2018, and that the government barred the company from telling him at the time. McGahn’s wife received a similar notice from Apple as well.

WASHINGTON, DC – OCTOBER 17: (AFP OUT) White House Counsel Don McGahn (R) attends a cabinet meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump in the Cabinet Room at the White House October 17, 2018 in Washington, DC. Earlier this week President Donald Trump dispatched Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to Saudi Arabia and Turkey to meet with those countries’ leaders about the disappearance of Saudi dissident and Washington Post opinion columnist Jamal Khashoggi. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The Times’ report says it’s not yet clear what FBI agents were looking for, nor whether McGahn was their specific target. Agents will often put together a comprehensive list of phone numbers and email addresses that were in contact with a particular subject of an investigation. They occasionally take it a step further and seek to identify all those people by using subpoenas to communications companies for any account information like names, computer addresses, or credit card numbers associated with them.

Apple told Mr. McGahn that it complied with the subpoena in a timely fashion but declined to tell him what it provided the government, according to the article in the Times. Justice Department policy allows gag orders for subpoenas, which may be renewed for up to a year at a time, suggesting that prosecutors went to court several times to prevent Apple from notifying the McGahns and the other subjects of the DOJ subpoenas earlier.

Read the full New York Times report here.

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