I used to say that ‘Russiagate’ was a hundred, a thousand or whatever times worse than Watergate, but we blew past all that a while back. Russia is not relevant to anything anymore and what emerged was a bureaucracy radicalized by the Clinton and Obama administrations (which people misleadingly call the ‘Deep State’; a term that suggests this was a permanent feature of government and lets Obama and his cronies off the hook for major crimes) that had been doing this even before Trump and appears determined to keep on doing abusing its authority to suppress opponents.
Faced with an investigation into its abuses, it investigated its investigators.
Jason Foster, who used to work for Sen. Grassley before running Empower Oversight, revealed that “the U.S. Department of Justice had subpoenaed the personal phone records and emails of Empower’s founder, Jason Foster, while he worked on Capitol Hill in 2017, along with several other staff, both Democrats and Republicans.”
“The personal intrusion into congressional staff members raises serious questions about the basis including constitutional separation of powers and privilege issues raised by the Speech or Debate Clause, and attorney-client communications of those targeted with these subpoenas which should have triggered requirements for enhanced procedural protections and approvals.”
Foster has since stated that the DOJ was gathering information using “the phone numbers and email addresses of other staffers for key DOJ oversight committees in Congress on both sides of the aisle.”
“The Justice Department snooped on private data about my family’s call, text, and email communications for no good reason. And they did the same to lots of other attorneys working for congressional cmtes doing oversight of DOJ,: he added.
This is not the first time that the DOJ has been caught snooping on elected officials for political reasons, but the sheer scale of it and the sensitivity, staffers on DOJ oversight committees, is catastrophically bad. And the bipartisan element may finally get Dems on board.
No one, regardless of party, likes being spied on.