'Out of control': Legal experts weigh in on Trump DOJ's seizing of Adam Schiff's phone records

'Out of control': Legal experts weigh in on Trump DOJ's seizing of Adam Schiff's phone records
Rep. Adam Schiff, CNN Screengrab
House Intelligence Chairman Schiff calls for 9/11-style commission to investigate Trump’s response to the coronavirus pandemic
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Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) is not pleased with the latest development suggesting the Trump-led U.S. Department of Justice seized his phone records and targeted Democratic lawmakers. Now, legal experts are weighing in with their take on the dangers such actions pose to America's democracy.

According to The New York Times, David Laufman, a former official for the Justice Department official who worked a number of leak investigation cases, expressed concern about the situation given former President Donald Trump's apparent vendetta against Schiff.

"Notwithstanding whether there was sufficient predication for the leak investigation itself, including family members and minor children strikes me as extremely aggressive," Laufman said, adding, "In combination with former President Trump's unmistakable vendetta against Congressman Schiff, it raises serious questions about whether the manner in which this investigation was conducted was influenced by political considerations rather than purely legal ones."

Others also took to Twitter with their reactions. Lawyer Ted Boustrous described former U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr as "out of control.

Expert opinions come as the bombshell reports continue to circulate. In the wake of all that has transpired, Schiff has also sounded off and lambasted Trump for his politically-driven leadership and use of the DOJ for his personal agenda. In a statement released on Thursday,

"President Trump repeatedly and flagrantly demanded that the Department of Justice carry out his political will, and tried to use the Department as a cudgel against his political opponents and members of the media. It is increasingly apparent that those demands did not fall on deaf ears. The politicization of the Department and the attacks on the rule of law are among the most dangerous assaults on our democracy carried out by the former President."

Speaking to MSNBC's Rachel Maddow on Thursday, Schiff also called for Attorney General Merrick Garland to step into the responsibilities of his role and "clean house." He also admitted that he believes it will take nearly a decade for the department to truly recover from the Trump-era politicization it endured.

Schiff said, "I think that the attorney general has an obligation to clean house, to essentially understand exactly what the department was doing over the last four years — make sure there's accountability for those that were engaged in political and partisan investigations within the department."

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