House Speaker Nancy Pelosi scoffed at the denials by the attorneys general who served under former president Trump about having any knowledge of the Justice Department’s decision to secretly seize Democratic lawmakers’ data. Pelosi said their claims were “beyond belief” and called on them to testify under oath before Congress.
Former Attorneys General Jeff Sessions and William Barr, as well as former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, have all claimed ignorance on the matter that is now under review by the DOJ’s inspector general.
“For the attorneys general — Barr and Sessions, at least — to say that they didn’t know anything about it is beyond belief. So, we will have to have them come under oath to testify about that,” Pelosi told CNN on Sunday.
Pelosi also said the actions by Trump and his justice department went “beyond” what disgraced former president Richard Nixon did.
“What the administration did, the Justice Department, the leadership of the former president goes even beyond Richard Nixon. Richard Nixon had an enemies list. This is about undermining the rule of law,” the speaker said.
In 2018 the Trump administration’s Justice Department subpoenaed Apple for data from the accounts of House Intelligence Committee Democrats as part of a leak investigation. Data from the lawmakers’ families and aides were also collected. According to the New York Times, prosecutors “were hunting for the sources behind news media reports about contacts between Trump associates and Russia.” The committee at the time was investigating the president.
Pelosi was asked whether she’d seek a subpoena to force the former attorneys general to testify if they refuse. “Well, let’s hope they will want to honor the rule of law,” the speaker replied.