The US Department of Justice unlawfully monitored Kash Patel and Jason Foster while the top Republican congressional attorneys probed ‘Crossfire Hurricane,’ which was the department’s classified name for the investigation into Russian collusion.
Freshly released documents confirm that the DoJ spied on Foster and Patel’s phone conversations and emails in 2017 during an alleged illegal ‘fishing expedition.’
Tejpal Chawla, a federal prosecutor and donor to Democratic campaigns, played a significant role in the surveillance of the Republican attorneys.
In 2017, staff members from Congress initiated an investigation into the US Attorney’s office regarding the ‘Crossfire Hurricane’ probe, which claimed that Trump colluded with Russia to steal the 2016 presidential election.
Chawla, an Assistant US Attorney at the Washington DC US Attorney’s office, then issued subpoenas for the phone records of the lawyers employed by the Senate and House.
The court seal hiding the seven-year-old subpoenas of the congressional lawyers recently expired, and the individuals targeted in the Justice Department’s illegal surveillance scandal were informed by big tech companies that they had been under surveillance.
Recently, Foster, the former chief investigative counsel for then-Senate Judiciary Committee member Chuck Grassley, got an email from Google disclosing that his phone calls had been monitored while he was working as a congressional watchdog.
The DOJ acquired records for his Google Voice phone number from December 1, 2016, to May 1, 2017, as indicated in the subpoena Foster received from Google in 2017.
The department also monitored the phone records of Foster’s wife and possibly conducted surveillance on the phone he utilized for Senate-related matters.
Foster, who currently heads the whistleblower organization Empower Oversight, submitted a Freedom of Information request asking the US Attorney’s Office to provide records related to its monitoring of congressional staff.
“This was just a fishing expedition to gather intel on their overseers in Congress,” Foster said. “We were their primary oversight committee And we were asking the very pointed and difficult questions that they didn’t want to answer.”
According to Foster, the DoJ surveilled several other congressional staffers and attorneys during their investigation of the Crossfire Hurricane.
“You have to ask, how far does this go?” he continued. “We’re only just finding out about the Senate. We knew earlier about House Intel. Who else have they been monitoring? And for how long?”
A copy of the surveillance subpoena was obtained, revealing Chawla’s signature on the largely redacted document.
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