Stefanik defends secret subpoenas of lawmakers, reporters

Published: Jun. 15, 2021 at 3:48 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 15, 2021 at 7:08 PM EDT
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WASHINGTON (WCAX) - North Country Congresswoman Elise Stefanik was asked Tuesday whether she had any concerns with recent revelations that the Justice Department under President Trump seized phone records from members of Congress and reporters to track down leaks damaging to the president.

Attorney General Merrick Garland has said he will work to strengthen policies for obtaining lawmakers’ records and against spying on journalists. Stefanik on Tuesday defended the Justice Department’s previous efforts, which included secret subpoenas of Democrats Reps. Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell, as well as reporters from the Washington Post, New York Times, and CNN.

“Having served on the House Intelligence Committee, we’ve seen illegal leaks from our colleagues on the House Intelligence Committee and there have been numerous referrals to the Department of Justice. So, I think it’s important that the Department of Justice determine if there were any illegal leaks, leaks by members of Congress or their staff members,” Stefanik said.

Stefanik said she expects the inspector general to look at whether there was an overreach by President Trump, but the Republican says she wants to make sure the department can investigate criminal leaks, which she called a national security risk.

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