Majority Leader Schumer Floor Remarks: Appalling Politicization Of The Justice Department Under President Trump Must Be Investigated; Former Attorneys General Barr And Sessions Must Testify Before The Senate Judiciary Committee Under Oath Following Reports Of Secret Subpoenas Of Personal Data Of Members Of Congress

June 14, 2021

Washington, D.C.   Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor regarding the need for former Attorneys General Barr and Sessions and other officials who were involved in the subpoenaing of personal phone records of members of Congress last year to be investigated by the DOJ and Congress. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:

Despite the fact that we are now almost six months into a new administration, the sins of the previous administration are still coming to light.

Late last week, the New York Times reported that the Trump Administration’s Justice Department delivered secret subpoenas for the personal phone data of at least a dozen people tied to the House Intelligence Committee, including members of Congress, aides, and even family members. One was a minor.

This is a gross abuse of power. It’s an assault on the separation of powers. The notion that any president, via their political appointees, could manipulate our democratic system to tap into personal data has the fingerprints of a dictatorship – dictatorship – all over it.

This appalling politicization of the Department of Justice by Donald Trump and his sycophants must be investigated by both the DOJ Inspector General and by Congress. Former Attorneys General Barr and Sessions and other officials who were involved must testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee under oath. If they refuse, they are subject to being subpoenaed and compelled to testify under oath. The Justice Department must also provide information to the Judiciary Committee, which will vigorously investigate this abuse of power. 

This issue should not be partisan; under the Constitution, Congress is a co-equal branch of government and must be protected from an over-reaching executive. We expect our Republican colleagues to join us in getting to the bottom of this very, very serious matter.