Apple Had to Hand Over Data on Sitting White House Counsel

In 2018, Justice Department issued subpoena for data of Donald McGahn
By Liz MacGahan,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 13, 2021 5:53 PM CDT
Apple Gave Trump DOJ Data on His White House Counsel
Former White House counsel Don McGahn departs after appearing for questioning behind closed doors by the House Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, June 4, 2021.   (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Apple recently revealed that then-President Trump’s Department of Justice had come to them with subpoenas for data on congressional Democrats. Now the company has revealed that it turned over data for Trump’s own White House counsel, too. The company told Donald McGahn and his wife that it had provided information to the department about accounts they had back in February 2018, the New York Times reports. Apple also said it had been legally prevented from telling the McGahns about the subpoenaed data until May. There were no details about what connections the FBI was trying to make using the McGahns’ data, though the Times calls the collection of such information on a White House counsel "extraordinary." The Washington Post, confirming the Times' scoop, calls it "striking."

CNN adds some context, noting that McGahn had fallen out of favor with Trump around the time the subpoena was issued—regarding McGahn's refusal to fire Robert Mueller. But both CNN and the Times are skeptical that the subpoena revolved around that episode. The Post notes that the information about McGahn—who served as an attorney on the Trump campaign before becoming White House counsel—might have been collected "incidentally" as the department was investigating other figures. CNN reports that neither then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions nor deputy Rod Rosenstein were aware of the request for the McGahn data. (The DOJ's internal watchdog is investigating the Trump-era subpoenas of Democratic lawmakers.)

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