Apple told former White House counsel Don McGahn that his and his wife's records were subpoenaed by Trump DOJ in 2018: NYT

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  • Apple told Don McGahn last month that the DOJ subpoenaed information on an account in February 2018, according to the NYT.

  • The action occurred while McGahn was still serving under then-President Donald Trump.

  • According to the NYT, it is unclear what FBI agents were seeking, nor is it clear if McGahn was the subject of their focus.

  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

The former White House counsel Don McGahn and his wife were reportedly among those targeted by the Justice Department with a subpoena for their account records in February 2018, while McGahn was still serving under then-President Donald Trump, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The New York Times first reported on Sunday that McGahn was informed that data from an Apple account was sought by the DOJ, but he reportedly wasn't told what was shared with the department. The government reportedly prevented Apple from informing McGahn about the subpoena at the time, according to the Times report.

The pursuit was under a nondisclosure order until May, which would reveal that the DOJ went to a judge on several occasions to keep the subpoena under wraps during the Trump presidency.

"The disclosure that agents secretly collected data of a sitting White House counsel is striking as it comes amid a political backlash to revelations about Trump-era seizures of data of reporters and Democrats in Congress for leak investigations," according to The Times.

It is unclear what FBI agents were seeking, nor is it clear if McGahn was the subject of their focus.

According to The Times, agents "sometimes compile a large list of phone numbers and email addresses that were in contact with a subject, and seek to identify all those people by using subpoenas to communications companies for any account information like names, computer addresses and credit card numbers associated with them" when conducting investigations.

Read more: We identified the 125 people and institutions most responsible for Donald Trump's rise to power and his norm-busting behavior that tested the boundaries of the US government and its institutions

Apple reportedly told the McGahns that it received the subpoena on February 23, 2018, according to an individual familiar with the matter.

The subpoena was issued by a grand jury in the Eastern District of Virginia, according to The Times.

The Justice Department appears to have obtained information on McGahn and his wife during the same month that the DOJ subpoenaed Apple to gain access to the personal information of individuals associated with the House Intelligence Committee, including for two of its Democratic members.

Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff of California, a longtime political adversary of Trump who was one of the subpoena targets, on Friday called for a thorough review of his separate matter.

"We need a full accounting of the Trump DOJ's abuse of power targeting Congress and the press," he tweeted.

McGahn served as White House counsel for nearly two years, from January 2017 until his resignation in October 2018. He was a key witness in the special counsel Robert Mueller's probe into whether Trump obstructed justice in the FBI's Russia investigation.

This story has been updated.

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