It is outrageous that the Department of Justice may have used a criminal investigation as a pretext to spy on journalists, members of Congress, their families, and congressional staff. Unfortunately, after four years of Donald Trump’s corrupting influence at the Department of Justice, we have every reason to believe these reports are true. In fact, what worries me at this hour is that the corruption may be deeper than what has already been reported. We know that the administration, under the Attorney General’s hearings and Barr’s leadership, secretly attempted to seize data from the accounts of these reporters and my colleagues on the Intelligence Committee — but we don’t yet know how these two efforts were connected, or whether there were additional targets for this gross abuse of power.
I am grateful that Inspector General Horowitz committed to investigating both cases. His work here will be invaluable. However, his office’s investigation is not a substitute for swift action by the Department of Justice.
The committee has been in contact with the Ministry of Justice, and we have made our position clear. The department has a very short window to make a full Trump-era break on this. We expect the Department to provide full accountability for these issues, and we expect the Attorney General to hold the relevant staff accountable for their conduct. If the ministry does not make significant progress toward these two goals, we in the Judicial Committee will have no choice but to step in and do the work ourselves.”