Apple says it handed over data on Donald McGahn in 2018
The Mueller report – and Mr McGahn in private testimony before the House Judiciary Committee this month – described Mr Trump’s anger with Mr McGahn over the Times article and how he tried to persuade Mr. McGahn to make a statement falsely denying it. Mr. Trump told his aides that Mr. McGahn was a “liar” and a “leaker,” according to former Trump administration officials. In his testimony, Mr McGahn said he had been a source for the Post’s follow-up to clarify a nuance – to which he had communicated his intention to resign – but he had not been a source for the Post. original Times article.
There is, however, reason to doubt that Mr. McGahn was the target of a Justice Department investigation into the leaks resulting from this episode. Information about Mr. Trump’s orders to fire Mr. Mueller, for example, does not appear to be a classified national security secret of the kind that it may be a crime to divulge.
Another roughly simultaneous occurrence is that the subpoena to Apple that swept Mr. McGahn’s information came shortly after the one the Department of Justice sent to Apple on February 6, 2018, for an investigation into leaks related to unauthorized disclosure of information about Russia. investigation, trapping data on Congressional staff members, their families and at least two members of Congress.
Among those whose data was secretly seized under a gag order, and who were not notified until recently, were two Democrats from the House Intelligence Committee: Representatives Eric Swalwell and Adam B. Schiff, both of California . Mr. Schiff, a staunch political opponent of Mr. Trump, is now the panel chair. The Times first reported on the subpoena last week.
Many questions remain unanswered about the events leading up to the subpoenas, including how well they were authorized by Trump’s Justice Department and whether investigators anticipated or hoped they would sweep data on politically prominent lawmakers. The summons requested data on 109 email addresses and phone numbers.
In this case, the leak investigation appeared to have focused primarily on Michael Bahar, then a staff member of the House Intelligence Committee. People close to Mr Sessions and Mr Rosenstein, the two top Justice Department officials at the time, said neither knew prosecutors had requested data on lawmakers’ accounts for this. investigation.
It remains unclear whether the officers were pursuing a theory that Mr Bahar had leaked on his own or whether they suspected him of speaking to reporters with the approval of lawmakers. Regardless, it appears they have not been able to prove their suspicion that he was the source of any unauthorized disclosure; the case was closed and no charges were laid.