Trump DOJ Sought Out Illegal Leaks from Congress

The Trump Justice Department investigated the leaking of classified information, allegedly by members of Congress. While the left decried it as a “weaponization” of government, they said nothing of the sort when private citizens’ tax data was leaked earlier this week.


Looking for illegal leaks to the press about the now-discredited Trump-Russia investigation, it was revealed this week that the Trump-era Department of Justice served subpoenas to tech giant Apple for metadata on accounts for several members of Congress, members of their staff, and relatives.

  • The Hill reported Microsoft was also subject to a subpoena for the personal email of a congressional staffer. Both Apple and Microsoft were under a gag order, unable to disclose the subpoenas’ existence until recently. 
  • The Department of Justice announced it will begin an internal review of DOJ’s “use of subpoenas” on elected officials and media (at least one CNN reporter also had records obtained by DOJ in the same investigation) “in connection with recent investigations of alleged unauthorized disclosures of information.”
  • Trump’s Attorney General Bill Barr responded to the news by saying he was “not aware” of efforts to obtain members of Congress’ phone or email records.


reporting from the left side of the aisle


  • CNN’s analysis completely ignores the fact that the information leaked to reporters was classified and that the leaks were illegal, characterizing the matter as the Trump administration targeting political adversaries. 
  • Vox similarly parrots the reactions of Democratic lawmakers, saying it’s “remarkable and disturbing” that the Department of Justice used legal means to investigate illegal leaks (author’s emphasis).
  • The New York Times also sided with “Democrats and privacy advocates” denouncing the action, saying it is “exceedingly unusual” and was more evidence of Trump “targeted reporters and Democrats he reviled” to stop leaks about Russiagate.



  • The Free Beacon added an aspect to the story not seen in other outlets: that even the Justice Department officials pushing the alleged (and again, discredited) Trump-Russia link believed it was Democratic members of Congress leaking information to reporters. 
  • Reporting by the Daily Caller was one of the more fact-based, least sensational articles on the subject, sticking to primary sources and avoiding the hyperbole on which left-leaning outlets leaned. 
  • The Wall Street Journal’s Byron Tau broke down the story into several questions an average reader may have about the topic, including noting that the leaked information contained classified information, that members of Congress do not go through the traditional background check in order to receive classified information, and that the information obtained via Apple does not contain what was said between users, only metadata like timestamps.

Author’s Take

Left leaning outlets are acting as though politicians are above the law, that they can leak whatever classified or private data they want to, provided it targets the right people and serves a political agenda.

The Russiagate leaks involved classified information. If an average person leaked it, they would be facing jail time. But according to the mainstream media, not only do they literally profit from the outrage generated over classified leaks, they praise the lawmakers who leaked it.

Just a few days ago, the private tax information on a handful of the wealthiest Americans was leaked and published by ProPublica. The reaction was not disgust or concern that private information was leaked for an apparent political agenda.

If lawmakers like Adam Schiff and Speaker Pelosi are truly concerned about the “weaponization” of government, they would have condemned the IRS leak as well. But they approve of using the power of the state to bully, harass, and punish their political opponents.

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© Dallas Gerber, 2021