House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is willing to give Donald Trump one thing — his attempts to retaliate against his Democratic critics by secretly issuing subpoenas for the communications records of select legislators “goes even beyond Richard Nixon” in the annals of presidential misconduct.
Pelosi made the damning comparison during an interview with Dana Bash on CNN‘s State of the Union this morning.
“In terms of the data mining, what the Republicans did, what the administration did, the Justice Department under the leadership of the former president, goes even beyond Richard Nixon,” the House Speaker told Bash.
The New York Times reported earlier this week that the Trump administration had sent subpoenas to Apple in 2017 and 2018 seeking the phone, messaging and email data from accounts belonging to at least two Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee, as well as their family members and some congressional aides in an attempt to discover who was leaking information that they considered classified.
Sources told the newspaper that the subpoenas targeted at least two dozen people including House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) who was a fierce critic of Donald Trump and who later served as an impeachment manager at Trump’s first impeachment trial.
Speaker Pelosi found that the claims by former Attorneys General Jeff Sessions and William Barr that they were unaware of the data records seizure are “beyond belief” and that she believes that Congress will be forced to have them testify under oath to find the real story behind the unprecedented move by the Department of Justice under Trump.
“This is about undermining the rule of law,” Pelosi stated. “Attorneys General Barr and Sessions, at least two 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 now,” Pelosi said.
When Bash asked Pelosi whether she would be willing to issue congressional subpoenas for Sessions, Barr, and former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein if they refused to voluntarily testify in front of Congress, the House Speaker dodged the question, saying only:
“Let’s hope that they will want to honor the rule of law.”
Pelosi characterized the partisan targeting of Trump critics by the former president’s Justice Department as “just another manifestation of their rogue activity.”
You can watch an excerpt of Speaker Pelosi’s appearance on CNN‘s State of the Union in the video clip below.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi: "The Justice Department has been rogue under President Trump … This is just another manifestation of their rogue activity." https://t.co/UUezBIMe9q #CNNSOTU pic.twitter.com/J8yxHCgrhd
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) June 13, 2021
Original reporting by Mychael Schnell at The Hill.
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Vinnie Longobardo is a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music and art.