House Speaker Nancy Pelosi demanded that Trump-era officials testify under oath about the Justice Department’s effort to secretly subpoena data from House Democrats and the news media.
Former attorneys general Bill Barr and Jeff Sessions, along with Rod Rosenstein, a former deputy attorney general, must answer to questions about subpoenas that were issued to at least two Democrats tied to the House Intelligence Committee, Pelosi said.
Those subpoenas, as well as others targeting reporters at major news organizations, have been described as an attempt to track down leaks about former President Donald Trump’s inner circle and Russia.
“The Justice Department has been rogue under President Trump,” Pelosi said on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday. “This is just another manifestation of their rogue activity.”
Pelosi said the DOJ under Trump “goes even beyond Richard Nixon. Richard Nixon had an enemies list. This is about undermining the rule of law.”
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff said Thursday that the Justice Department under Trump secretly subpoenaed personal records of people tied to his panel. That included material tied to Schiff himself, according to a spokeswoman for the panel.
Pelosi said that she wants to know who was responsible for conducting the secret subpoenas and determine whether or not they continue to work at the Justice Department.
Justice Department Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz said Friday that he’s initiating a review of the department’s use of subpoenas.
“The inspector general’s report is really important, but it is not a substitute for what we must do in the Congress,” Pelosi said, suggesting that the House would take an active role in further investigation. She said she didn’t know how many Democrats were targets of the DOJ.
Asked whether she would subpoena the former attorneys general if they don’t testify on Capitol Hill, Pelosi responded, “Well, let’s hope they would honor the rule of law.”