The Other McCain

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Biggest Story of the Week: DOJ Subpoenaed Senate GOP Staff Phones

Posted on | October 26, 2023 | Comments Off on Biggest Story of the Week: DOJ Subpoenaed Senate GOP Staff Phones

Former top Senate investigator Jason Foster

If you know anything at all about Capitol Hill, you know that Chuck Grassley’s staffer are the best investigators of governmental waste, fraud and abuse. Every year there are dozens of big stories that never would have come to light if not for the tireless work of Grassley’s staff. For many years, the ace in Grassley’s office was Jason Foster, who has recently left the Hill to launch his own non-profit organization, Empower Oversight, to continue that kind of investigation independently. The latest news should shock the conscience of the country:

While House and Senate oversight committees were investigating the Department of Justice and the FBI for their role in the Russia-collusion hoax, the DOJ subpoenaed the private phone and email logs of multiple congressional staffers, a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed Tuesday reveals. The executive branch’s targeting of staffers assisting with congressional oversight of the DOJ and FBI represents a dangerous intrusion into the legislative branch’s functioning — and one that demands answers and an accounting.
On Tuesday, the Virginia-based whistleblower firm Empower Oversight dispatched a letter to the attorney general and a slew of other DOJ officials, including the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia. That letter detailed how the organization’s founder, Jason Foster, learned last week from a notice provided by Google that the DOJ had subpoenaed records of his Google Voice telephone number. The subpoena issued to Google required the tech giant to provide all telephone connection records and text message logs for Foster’s private Google account from Dec. 1, 2016, to May 1, 2017.
At that time, as the Empower Oversight letter explained, Foster served as the chief investigative counsel to Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Chuck Grassley. In that role, he directed congressional oversight into misconduct at the Justice Department. The DOJ likewise subpoenaed other House and Senate staffers working with oversight committees — both Republicans and Democrats — according to Empower Oversight.
The Federalist has independently confirmed that at least one staffer on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) received the same notice from Google of the subpoena, which was issued by a D.C. grand jury on Sept. 12, 2017.
That date proves significant because former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein had reportedly threatened to subpoena the personal records of HPSCI staffers during a heated January 2018 closed-door meeting concerning oversight requests served on the DOJ. But based on the Google notice sent out last week to the subpoenas’ targets, the DOJ had already executed that threat.
The Empower Oversight letter takes to task the DOJ for undertaking what appears to be “an extensive and far-reaching effort to use grand jury subpoenas and perhaps other means to gather the personal communications records of innocent congressional staffers and their families with little or no legitimate predicate.” . . .

Read the whole thing. What Foster was doing at the time, of course, was trying to get to the bottom of “Operation Crossfire Hurricane,” the corrupt scam (set in motion by the phony Steele dossier paid for by Hillary’s campaign) to investigate Trump’s advisers for “Russian collusion.” As the linked article explains, the FOIA request by Empower Oversight anticipates the DOJ’s probable excuse — “the need to uncover the individual who leaked classified information to the press” — by asking whether DOJ similarly subpoenaed Executive Branch officials. Certainly it seems to me more likely that the leak came from the FBI itself, and that this DOJ subpoena was a fishing expedition aimed at figuring out the identities of whistleblowers that Grassley’s staff and other congressional investigators were talking to. In other words, the DOJ was trying to cover up its own corrupt activities. People should be mad as hell.



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