House Democrats have launched an investigative probe to determine whether or not former President Donald Trump's Department of Justice (DOJ) participated in a shadow operation to target political opponents.
Leading the investigation, Jerry Nadler chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, has a focal point for the investigation that centers on "the apparent violation of internal policies by the justice department when it issued subpoenas against Democrats Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell in 2018," according to The Guardian.
However, they did not stop there. Details about their investigation, DOJ officials reveal they also obtained personal information for individuals closely related to House intelligence committee. From staff members to family members, the DOJ allegedly went to arduous lengths to target certain Democratic lawmakers.
The publication reports that the investigators also "gained access to, among others, the records of Schiff, then the top Democrat on the House intelligence committee and now its chairman, Swalwell and the family members of lawmakers and aides."
The former U.S. Attorneys General at the center of the investigation are William Barr and Jeff Sessions. An inside source has confirmed that Democratic lawmakers are examining if Trump-led DOJ officials disregarded protocol and abused federal government power to target the former president's presumed Democratic advesaries.
In order to use subpoenas for the purpose of seizing personal data from Democratic House intelligence committee members, DOJ officials would have needed authorization from the highlest level of government, most like the attorney general, at the time.
The source noted: "That kind of shadow operation – reminiscent of the shadow foreign policy in Ukraine that led to Trump's first impeachment – would be significant because it could render the subpoenas unlawful."
Despite the mounting allegations and pending investigation, Barr has already made an attempt to distance from the controversy. In an interview with Politico, Barr addressed the allegations saying he was "not aware of any congressman's records being sought in a leak case."
Sessions has also denied having any knowledge of the subpoenas. However, the investigation will likely be ongoing.