The US House of Representatives Judiciary Committee has opened an investigation into spying on journalists and members of Congress under former President Donald Trump. According to the panel’s chair, Jerry Nadler, the most recently disclosed cases are likely to be isolated cases.
However, these incidents are said to “raise serious constitutional concerns and concerns about the separation of powers”. Nadler said Congress should make it “extremely difficult” or impossible for the Justice Department to spy on lawmakers or journalists.
According to media reports, during the Trump presidency, the Department of Justice secretly obtained telephone records from reporters, and had access to the records of several Democratic lawmakers. If the Trump administration systematically targets the political opposition, Nadler made clear, the full extent of this “abuse of power” must be revealed and those responsible held to account.
On Monday, US Attorney General Merrick Garland promised to clarify the consequences of the lawmakers’ spying. The Justice Department also announced that Garland met with representatives from media outlets such as The New York Times, The Washington Post and CNN on Monday. The need for new rules was discussed.
The ministry also confirmed that in the event of an investigation into the disclosure of confidential information, it will no longer be able to access journalists’ data in the future to find out information about their sources.
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