Democratic lawmakers didn’t know their metadata had been seized until Apple informed them last month, after the gag order expired.
From “Hunting Leaks, Trump Officials Focused on Democrats in Congress” on Page 1 of Friday’s New York Times:
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…
Moreover, just as it did in investigating news organizations, the Justice Department secured a gag order on Apple that expired this year, according to a person familiar with the inquiry, so lawmakers did not know they were being investigated until Apple informed them last month.
My take: Big front-page story with four heavy duty bylines, three of them Pulitzer Prize-winners. Hard to avoid politics when Apple is an actor in the story.
UPDATE: Fast-developing story. We learned Friday that Rep. Eric Swalwell was also targeted. And according to CNN, the gag order was renewed three times before the new administration declined to renew it, freeing Apple to notify the targets. Schiff thinks other Democratic committee members may have missed the Apple notification, mistaking it for spam. There’s a lesson there somewhere.