Department of Justice John Demers To Step Down

by Jan Frazier

Washington, D.C. (Washington Insider Magazine)  –  As told to the Politico staff, John Demers, chief of the Justice Department’s National Security Division, is set to step down from the department by the end of June.

John Demers has been the head of the Department of Justice since February 2018. Demers will be “the last Senate-confirmed Trump appointee to leave DOJ.” Demers has been concentrating on Chinese espionage and property theft. His departure comes at a crucial time when his department is receiving “scorching criticism for seizing reporters’ phone records as part of an investigation into leaks during the Trump administration.”

There have been news reports – in recent days – that “revealed that DOJ obtained a subpoena that required Apple to produce phone records belonging to two prominent Democratic members of the House Intelligence Committee.”

Attorney General Merrick Garland – in a statement on Monday – said that he was concerned about “prosecutors’ demands for lawmakers’ information.” Garland also stated that he was concerned about the “sensitive issues raised by such probes into the legislative branch.”

Garland further stated, “There are important questions that must be resolved in connection with an effort by the department to obtain records related to Members of Congress and Congressional staff.” Garland continued to say that full weight must be accorded to the concerns of separation-of-powers in moving forward. 

Garland said that Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco is struggling with problems that potentially deserve high level review. Garland did not describe these problems in detail. Garland asked of Monaco “to evaluate and strengthen the department’s existing policies and procedures for obtaining records of the Legislative Branch.”

Under former President Obama’s administration, the Department of Justice dramatically heightened the investigations “into leaks of classified material.” More than any other presidential administrations, Obama secured more convictions with his investigations.

However, Trump’s administration took it one step further. In August  2017 Attorney General Jeff Sessions said that the Trump administration had “tripled the number of leak probes underway” when compared to the Obama administration.

SOURCE

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