The secret seizures were first reported by The New York Times.
The Trump administration’s attempt to secretly gain access to the data came as the president was fuming publicly and privately over investigations — in Congress and by then-special counsel Robert Mueller — into his campaign’s ties to Russia.
Trump called the probes a “witch hunt,” regularly criticized Democrats and Mueller on Twitter and repeatedly dismissed as “fake news” leaks he found harmful to his agenda. As the investigations swirled around him, he demanded loyalty from a Justice Department he often regarded as his personal law firm.
Schiff and Swalwell were two of the most visible Democrats on the committee, then led by Republicans, during the Russia probe. Both California lawmakers made frequent appearances on cable news. Trump watched those channels closely, if not obsessively, and seethed over the coverage.
Schiff, in a statement late Thursday, called for an investigation by the Justice Department’s inspector general on the seizures.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said in a statement that the data seizures “appear to be yet another egregious assault on our democracy” waged by the former president.
“The news about the politicization of the Trump Administration Justice Department is harrowing,” she said.
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