Rep. Jordan Subpoenas AG Garland Over DOJ’s Alleged Congressional Staff Surveillance

Katabella Roberts
By Katabella Roberts
December 20, 2023Congress

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, subpoenaed Attorney General Merrick Garland on Dec. 19 for information on the Department of Justice’s alleged attempts to surveil members of Congress and their staff in 2017.

In a letter to Mr. Garland, the Republican lawmaker asked for all DOJ documents related to the alleged requests for communications and the department’s use of legal process to obtain the private communications.

The lawmaker stressed that the information is necessary to inform potential legislation reforms.

Mr. Jordan asked Mr. Garland to provide the requested documents by Jan. 19, noting that the DOJ has failed to comply fully with his prior requests for the information.

The subpoena comes after Mr. Jordan sent a similar letter to Mr. Garland in October asking the DOJ to hand over all relevant documents regarding the alleged surveillance of members of Congress and their staff.

That letter was fired off after Jason Foster, who in 2017 served as chief investigative counsel to then-Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), claimed that he was among numerous individuals notified in October of this year that the DOJ had subpoenaed Google for his personal phone records and emails during the period when Mr. Grassley was conducting oversight of the department’s handling of the so-called Steele dossier.

Jordan Demands Google Hands Over Documents

The Steele dossier was paid for by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee.

Mr. Foster told “Just the News, No Noise” in November that the DOJ had also successfully ordered Google not to notify members of Congress or their staff for five consecutive years that their communications had been subpoenaed in 2017.

Reports also emerged last year that the DOJ had allegedly used grand jury subpoenas to secretly access personal information belonging to multiple House Republican staffers, including former Intelligence Committee senior counsel Kash Patel, now an Epoch Times contributor, as part of its probe focusing on the now disproven Trump–Russia collusion narrative.

Among the information allegedly subpoenaed were mailing addresses, residential addresses, business addresses, email addresses, and personal telephone numbers belonging to Mr. Patel and Mr. Foster.

Mr. Jordan has also called on Big Tech giants including Apple and Google’s parent company, Alphabet, to hand over information regarding the alleged surveillance.

Donald Trump
Former President Donald Trump speaks with Epoch TV’s Kash Patel at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Fla., on Jan. 31, 2022. (The Epoch Times)

DOJ Publishes New Subpoena Guidelines

In his letter to Mr. Garland on Tuesday, Mr. Jordan said the DOJ’s subpoenas indicate “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.”

“Because the DOJ has not complied in full with the Committee’s requests, it cannot independently determine whether the DOJ sought to alleviate the heightened separation-of-powers sensitivities involved or whether the DOJ first sought the information through other means before resorting to legal process,” he said.

Elsewhere, Mr. Jordan said the committee has “concerns that aspects of the DOJ’s investigation may have been a pretext to justify piercing the Legislative Branch’s deliberative process and improperly access data from Members and staff involved in conducting oversight of the Department.”

In November, the DOJ released new guidelines on subpoenaing congressional members or their staff.

Those new guidelines state that such individuals cannot be subpoenaed or interviewed, and search warrants are required for a location or device in which “legislative materials are likely to be found,” prior to consultation with the DOJ’s Public Integrity Section.

“The Department of Justice is guided by principles of federal prosecution to ensure that federal prosecutors are even-handed in the fair and faithful execution of the law, while scrupulously protective of the rights of individuals involved in criminal investigations,” the guidelines note.

The Epoch Times has contacted the DOJ for comment.

From The Epoch Times

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