Department of Justice (DOJ) lawyer John Demers is resigning from his position following news the department sought the personal records of numerous journalists and Democrats, according to a new Associated Press report on Monday.
“While that review is pending, I have instructed the Deputy Attorney General, who is already working on surfacing potentially problematic matters deserving high level review, to evaluate and strengthen the department’s existing policies and procedures for obtaining records of the Legislative branch,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement on Monday.
“Consistent with our commitment to the rule of law,” he said, “we must ensure that full weight is accorded to separation-of-powers concerns moving forward.”
Demers has served as head of the Justice Department’s national security division since 2018, according to NBC News.
NY1 reported, “News emerged last week that the Justice Department had secretly subpoenaed Apple for metadata from House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff and another Democratic member of the panel, California Rep. Eric Swalwell, in 2018, as their committee was investigating Trump’s ties to Russia. Schiff at the time was the top Democrat on the panel, which was led by Republicans.”
The report added, “The subpoena, issued Feb. 6, 2018, requested information on 73 phone numbers and 36 email addresses, Apple said.”
The disturbing report has led to numerous questions about privacy issues that took place when Donald Trump served in the White House. Trump remains steadfast in claiming he has done nothing wrong, but investigations remain ongoing regarding any connections.
The privacy matters remind Americans of the battle for privacy in the growing information age, as well as the need to guard against abuses and illegal breaches of user information.