WASHINGTON (Nexstar) — John Demers, one of the last of former President Donald Trump’s political appointees, resigned from the Department of Justice after news the DOJ under Trump obtained communications records of congressional members and others.
A top Justice Department official said Demers’ departure was not tied to the revelations.
“This is a gross abuse of power,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said. “It’s an assault of the separation of powers.”
Trump’s DOJ reportedly subpoenaed phone records of former impeachment managers, Congressmen Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell and congressional aides and family members — including a minor.
“The notion that any president, via political appointees, could manipulate our democratic system to tap into personal data has the finger prints of a dictatorship,” Schumer said.
The New York Times reports the DOJ also subpoenaed the records of former Trump White House Counsel Don McGahn.
Democrats want former Attorneys General Bill Barr and Jeff Session to testify before Congress. Both men deny knowledge of the subpoenas.
“Any outrage from Democrats that allege criminal leaks within their ranks rightly drew the attention of federal investigators rings completely hollow,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said, adding the subpoenas may have been legitimate.
“The Department of Justice is empowered to investigate criminal conduct by members of Congress and their staffs,” he said.
Any investigation should be left up to the Inspector General, McConnell said.
“There’s no need for a partisan circus here in Congress.”