The Justice Department’s top national security official is resigning as the agency is under fire for secretly obtaining data from Democrats and journalists, according to news reports.
John Demers’ resignation comes as questions loom over whether he knew of the department’s actions, which were part of an investigation into leaks plaguing the Trump administration, The Associated Press reported Monday.
Apple revealed Friday that the DOJ issued subpoenas in 2018 for records on House Intelligence Committee members Reps. Eric Swalwell and Adam B. Schiff, both California Democrats, as well as dozens of lawmakers, staffers and their families. Various news outlets also have confirmed that the agency sought records on their reporters.
At the time of the subpoenas, then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions was trying to uncover the source of leaks about contacts between President Trump’s campaign associates and Russia.
Former Attorney General William P. Barr revived the investigation when he replaced Mr. Sessions in 2019. He told The Wall Street Journal on Friday that he didn’t recall the subpoenas.
DOJ Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz announced Friday that he will open an investigation into the Apple subpoenas.
Mr. Demers is reportedly planning to step down by the end of the week. He will be temporarily replaced by Mark Lesko, acting U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York until the Senate approves President Biden’s appointee Mark Olsen.
A spokeswoman for the DOJ did not immediately respond to a request for comment sent Monday.
⦁ Jeff Mordock contributed to this report.