Written by Hudson Crozier
What’s new: In 2017, the Department of Justice (DOJ) used a grand jury to obtain the email and phone data of two House investigators who were gathering evidence on the FBI’s corruption in the Trump-Russia collusion probe. The two staffers worked for Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), who was chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.
What they were investigating: In 2016, using false information of Russian collusion, the FBI wiretapped an adviser to then-candidate Donald Trump and spied on his presidential campaign. Weeks before their data was seized, the staffers had been studying the FBI’s secret warrant to spy on the Trump campaign, and Nunes’s committee repeatedly subpoenaed the DOJ, the FBI and the CIA for evidence.
Why it matters: When congressmen exercised proper oversight over the FBI’s activities, the DOJ spied on them. Nunes suspects the DOJ’s motive was to find information to blackmail the staffers and the committee from exposing any alarming information. The incoming chairman of the House Judiciary Committee plans to investigate this, adding to several other congressional probes of the FBI and DOJ.