WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department’s top national security official is resigning from his position after revelations that the department secretly seized records from Democrats and members of the media.
John Demers will leave his position by the end of next week, a Justice Department official told The Associated Press on Monday. The official could not discuss the matter publicly and spoke to the AP on the condition of anonymity.
A second person familiar with the matter said Demers had planned for weeks to leave the department by the end of June. He was sworn in a few weeks after the subpoena for the Democrats’ records. He is one of the few Trump appointees who has remained in the Biden administration. The official and the person could not discuss the matter publicly and spoke to the AP on the condition of anonymity.
The resignation comes amid questions about what Demers knew about the Justice Department’s efforts to secretly seize the phone data from House Democrats and reporters as part of the aggressive investigations into leaks.
News emerged last week that the Justice Department had secretly subpoenaed Apple for metadata from House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff and another Democratic member of the panel, California Rep. Eric Swalwell, in 2018, as their committee was investigating then-President Donald Trump’s ties to Russia. Schiff at the time was the top Democrat on the panel, which was led by Republicans.
The records of at least 12 people connected to the House intelligence panel were eventually shared with the Justice Department by Apple after the subpoena was issued in 2018. The people included aides, former aides and family members. One was a minor.
The subpoena, issued Feb. 6, 2018, requested information on 73 phone numbers and 36 email addresses, Apple said. It also included a non-disclosure order that prohibited the company from notifying any of the people and was renewed three times, the company said in a statement.