The pursuit was under a nondisclosure order until May, indicating that the Justice Department went to a judge several times to keep it a secret during former President Donald Trump’s years in office.
It is extraordinary to summon the record of a White House counsel.
The DOJ’s move also comes weeks after Trump was unhappy with McGahn as he tried to pressure McGann to cover up his request to sack then-special counsel Robert Mueller, a move Trump took on Mueller. added fuel to the investigation into whether Trump obstructed justice. .
The summons for McGann’s records did not come from Mueller’s team of investigators, the source said.
There is no indication at this time whether the search for McGahn’s records was politically motivated, or what possible case investigators were pursuing.
According to another familiar source, former Attorney General Jeff Sessions and former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein were not aware of this request for information relating to McGahn and his wife.
Thursday’s revelations about prosecutors seeking records for members of the House Intelligence Committee prompted Congress’ top Democrats to call on former Attorney General Sessions and William Barr to testify on the matter.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on Sunday called on Senate Republicans to summon Barr and Sessions to join Democrats as well as John Demers, assistant attorney general in charge of the Justice Department’s National Security Division. Prominent Republicans have issued statements focusing mostly on the potential leaks rather than the methods the DOJ was investigating, and withheld decisions on whether the department was following the rules.
“It’s not just Washington’s insider thing,” Schumer told a news conference Sunday in New York City. “It’s about people being summoned to phone records without even knowing about them, and who knows who will be next. Everyday Americans are baffled by the notion that any president can get through his political appointments.” Can manipulate democratic systems, and tap into personal phone data — this is not American. What has happened here are the fingerprints of a dictatorship, not of a democracy.”
As CNN reports, Sessions — the attorney general at the time of the Apple summons — had been sidelined from all matters related to the Russia investigation, so a related leak investigation would have fallen under Rosenstein.
This story has been updated with additional development.
Paula Reid contributed to this report.