Republican Senate lawmakers are demanding answers after reports emerged that the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) secretly obtained communications records of reporters and staff from the Senate and House Intelligence Committees as part of its investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
Two Senate Judiciary Committee Republicans, Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Josh Hawley (R-MO), sent a letter to Attorney General William Barr on Saturday requesting information on the extent of the DOJ’s surveillance activities.
In the letter, the senators pointed to multiple reports indicating the DOJ secretly obtained phone records of some House and Senate Intelligence Committee staffers during the 2017–2018 timeframe, including those of former Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Richard Burr (R-NC).
The lawmakers requested that the DOJ provide “a list of reporters, House members, and staff of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence whose records were obtained by the DOJ while they were in office.” They requested a response by June 14.
The DOJ has yet to publicly respond to the letter.