Friday, June 11, 2021


People I respect are discussing this story as if it has the potential to Change Everything. I don't see it. I think most of America will just yawn:
As the Justice Department investigated who was behind leaks of classified information early in the Trump administration, it took a highly unusual step: Prosecutors subpoenaed Apple for data from the accounts of at least two Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee, aides and family members. One was a minor.

All told, the records of at least a dozen people tied to the committee were seized in 2017 and early 2018, including those of Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, then the panel’s top Democrat and now its chairman, according to committee officials and two other people briefed on the inquiry. Representative Eric Swalwell of California said in an interview Thursday night that he had also been notified that his data had been subpoenaed....

The zeal in the Trump administration’s efforts to hunt leakers led to the extraordinary step of subpoenaing communications metadata from members of Congress — a nearly unheard-of move outside of corruption investigations. While Justice Department leak investigations are routine, current and former congressional officials familiar with the inquiry said they could not recall an instance in which the records of lawmakers had been seized as part of one.
To politically engaged Trump critics, this is a big deal, of course. But to everyone else? Most of the public tuned out the Russia investigation a long time ago, and paid little attention to the Ukraine story. (Over the course of the latter story and the resulting impeachment, Trump's poll numbers actually rose somewhat.) The spying was in response to stories that were embarrassing to Trump, but the stories did involve leaks of classified information. To many Americans, it undoubtedly makes sense that Trump's Justice Department would want to investigate such leaks vigorously. And the people spied on are primarily members of Congress, at a time when 58% of Americans disapprove of the job Congress is doing (although that's down from 73% just before Election Day).

This won't cause the scales to fall from anyone's eyes. To many Americans, pursuing it will seem like a distraction from the government's real work. And the pursuit -- by Democrats who lack the GOP's personal viciousness and thirst for vengeance -- probably won't draw blood in any case.

As usual, I hope I'm wrong. But I'm convinced that this will mean nothing to most of America.

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