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Former White House counsel Don McGahn leaves Capitol Hill after a closed-door meeting with the House Judiciary Committee on June 4, 2021 in Washington, DC. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Apple told former Trump administration White House counsel Don McGahn last month that the Department of Justice secretly subpoenaed information about accounts of his in 2018, the New York Times first reported Sunday.

Why it matters: Although it's unclear why the DOJ took the action, such a move against a senior lawyer representing the presidency is highly unusual.

  • "The pursuit was under a nondisclosure order until May, indicating the Justice Department went to a judge multiple times to keep it secret throughout former President Donald Trump's years in office," CNN notes.

Driving the news: Accounts belonging to McGahn's wife were also targeted in the action, per AP and other news outlets. The company didn't disclose what information it provided, according to the reports.

  • DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz announced Friday an internal probe into the department's Trump-era secret subpoenas against Apple for data belonging to House Democrats and its seizure of phone records of journalists working for major media companies.
  • AP notes that the other subpoenas were related to a crackdown on media leaks related to possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

The big picture: Apple said Friday it has tightened rules regarding legal requests following reports that the DOJ requested via a subpoena metadata on phone numbers and email addresses as part of a February 2018 investigation into lawmakers, staffers and their families.

  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Sunday that former Attorneys General William Barr and Jeff Sessions should testify before Congress on the use of subpoenas to access data records.
  • Republicans have, meanwhile, queried the DOJ's seizure of records of Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani and another lawyer, Victoria Toensing, the Washington Post reports.
  • Representatives for the DOJ and Apple did not immediately respond to Axios' requests for comment.

Go deeper

DOJ urges Supreme Court not to overturn Roe v. Wade

Attorney General Merrick Garland during a Sept. 9 news conference at the Department of Justice. Photo: Samuel Corum/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Department of Justice sought permission Monday to present oral arguments when the Supreme Court hears a case challenging Mississippi's strict abortion law, as it called on justices to uphold Roe v. Wade.

Why it matters: The two briefs, filed by acting Solicitor General Brian Fletcher, mark the latest attempt by President Biden's DOJ to "protect the legal right to an abortion," per the New York Times, which first reported on the court filings.

DOJ sues American Airlines, JetBlue to block "unprecedented" alliance

Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Justice Department on Tuesday sued American Airlines and JetBlue to block an "unprecedented series of agreements" that will consolidate the two airlines' operations in Boston and New York City.

Why it matters: The civil antitrust complaint alleges that the planned Northeast Alliance (NEA) "will cause hundreds of millions of dollars in harm to air passengers across the country through higher fares and reduced choice," the DOJ said in a release.

Ina Fried, author of Login
Sep 21, 2021 - Technology

New iPad mini is this close to replacing your iPhone

Photo: Apple

The new iPad Mini that Apple announced last week has all the hardware needed to be a cheaper alternative to the iPhone, with a larger screen to boot.

  • There's just one thing disqualifying it from the role: Apple makes it hard for you to take traditional calls or dial out.