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Nancy Pelosi Says Trump DOJ’s Targeting of Political Enemies “Goes Beyond Richard Nixon”


The California Democrat also believes former Attorneys General Jeff Sessions and William Barr, as well as former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, should testify before Congress.

“What the administration did, the Justice Department, the leadership of the former president goes even beyond Richard Nixon. Richard Nixon had a list of enemies. This is about undermining the state of right, “Pelosi told CNN’s Dana Bash on Sunday on” The State of the Union. “

In 2018, prosecutors in the Trump administration’s Justice Department subpoenaed Apple to obtain data from the House Intelligence Committee Democrats’ accounts as well as their staff and family members as part of a leak investigation. Attorneys reportedly searched for the sources behind the reports about contacts between Russia and Trump’s associates. Representatives Adam Schiff, who chairs the committee, and Eric Swalwell of California have revealed they are being targeted.

Sessions, who was attorney general at the time of the summons, had withdrawn from Russian-related affairs. Barr told Politico on Friday he did not recall discussing an investigation of lawmakers and CNN reported that Rosenstein privately told people he was unaware of the subpoena.

Pelosi expressed disbelief on Sunday that Sessions, Barr and Rosenstein were not aware of such activity within the Department of Justice.

“How can it be that there is an investigation into members of the other branch of government and the press and so on, and the attorneys general didn’t know? So who are these people? And are they- are they still in the Department of Justice? ” she said. “It’s just out of the question – it doesn’t matter who the president is, whatever the party, it can’t be so.”

When asked by Bash on Sunday about the possibility of subpoenaing all three former Trump Justice officials, Pelosi said she hoped “they will want to honor the rule of law” before the House has to. consider this measure.

Biden DOJ faces criticism

Later appearing on “State of the Union,” Democratic Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York took aim at the Justice Department under President Joe Biden, saying a number of recent departmental actions have prevented it. to be as “transformational” as some hoped.

“I think Biden’s DOJ actions have been extremely concerning and it’s not just about actions on gag orders which is also extremely concerning, but across the board,” she said. to Bash, referring to the gag orders passed on tech companies and others, including CNN general counsel David Vigilante, who banned him from sharing details of the government’s efforts to obtain the email recordings of Bash. ‘a CNN reporter with anyone beyond the chairman of the network, senior attorneys at CNN’s parent company, and attorneys at an outside law firm. The orders, which began under Trump’s Justice Department, expired this year under the Biden administration. But the Department of Justice under Attorney General Merrick Garland did not come to inform the public of the activity.

Ocasio-Cortez continued, “While I think the (department’s) focus on voting rights is appreciated, we don’t see a transformational DOJ that I think people have been looking forward to. And that’s something. which deserves a lot more questions. ”

The department has come under fire from Democrats in recent days after officials there made a number of controversial decisions, including an announcement that the Justice Department would defend the right of religious schools to discriminate against LGBTQ students and the decision of the Department. department to argue that this should be allowed. to protect Trump from a libel lawsuit brought by a longtime magazine columnist who accused him of rape, a move that would benefit Trump immensely by likely ending the litigation. Trump has denied raping the columnist.

This story has been updated with additional comments from Pelosi and Ocasio-Cortez, and background information.

CNN’s Katelyn Polantz, Pamela Brown, Devan Cole and Erica Orden contributed to this report.

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