Former president Donald Trump was seen arriving at Trump Tower in New York on Sunday having been driven from his golf course in Bedminster, New Jersey in his first public appearance since it was claimed his Justice Department trawled the communications of Democratic congressmen in an effort to try and identify the source of embarrassing leaks.
Last week, it was claimed Democratic Representative Adam Schiff and his fellow representative Eric Swalwell had data from their Apple devices seized and analyzed as part of a probe to try and identify the source of embarrassing leaks.
Schiff and Swalwell – both members of the House Intelligence Committee – had metadata taken from their devices by Justice Department prosecutors as officials tried to work out who was leaking information about meetings between Trump associates and Russian leaders.
The Justice Department also subpoenaed information from an Apple account belonging to former White House counsel Don McGahn, according to a bombshell new report.
Apple last month informed McGahn, who worked for President Trump, that the DOJ requested information from the account back in February 2018.
The company was prohibited from telling McGahn about the subpoena at the time, two people briefed on the matter told the New York Times.
The DoJ also reportedly subpoenaed an Apple account belonging to McGahn’s wife, Shannan.
McGahn served as White House counsel from the day of Trump’s inauguration in February 2017 until his resignation in October the following year.
Former President Trump was seen walking into Trump Tower on New York’s Fifth Avenue on Sunday
Trump was seen getting out of the car as it pulled up to Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan
Trump was seen wearing a navy suit but with his top button undone and without his signature red tie
It appeared as though Trump had a lot on his mind as he got out of the car having come from Bedminster, New Jersey
Trump was flanked by Secret Agents who chaperoned him as he walked from the car into the building
Trump’s suit looked as though it needed a good ironing with his jacket and pants looking distinctly creased
Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions began the probe in 2017, with more records seized in 2018. A dozen people with links to the House Intelligence Committee – which is privy to classified intelligence – had their metadata examined.
Their family members – including one minor child – were also targeted, amid concerns the suspected leakers may have been using children’s devices to try and cover their tracks.
On Sunday evening, the president was seen in public for the first time the Justice Department’s investigation came to light.
Trump was flanked by Secret Service agents whilst crowds on Fifth Avenue quickly gathered to watch his arrival.
Trump, wearing his navy suit which looked to be slightly creased was without his signature red tie. The top button on his shirt was also undone as he entered the 58 storey tower.
Officers from the NYPD armed response were on hand also to watch over his arrival as he walked into the famous building which still has round-the-clock armed security despite Trump spending the majority of his time at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida or at his New Jersey club.
Members of the public could be seen gathering outside of Trump Tower and they looked to get a photo of him walking in
Officers from the NYPD Counter Terrorism Unit have been posted outside Trump Tower since he became president in 2017
A small crowd formed outside the building as the former president walked insider the building and could be seen in the lobby
Trump gave a wave to the gathered media who were positioned across the street
There has been round-the-clock security at Trump Tower since Trump became president in 2017
The investigation saw Justice Department prosecutors seek a gag order to keep the probe secret, with none of those whose data was being targeted ever being aware of what was going on.
Trump and his administration were infuriated after detailed conversations between his aides and the Russian ambassador to the US were leaked shortly after he took office in January 2017.
They are said to have identified then-FBI director James Comey and his deputy Andrew McCabe as possible sources for leaks, as well as the House Intelligence Committee.
The Justice Department also secured a gag order against Apple preventing them from telling the lawmakers they were being investigated, sources told the outlet. That gag order finally expired this year and Apple told the committee members that they were investigated last month.
Last week it was revealed Justice Department prosecutors seized metadata records from Apple in 2017 and early 2018 for accounts belonging to Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., left, and Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif, right
The DoJ also reportedly subpoenaed an Apple account belonging to McGahn’s wife, Shannan. The couple are pictured in a recent social media snap
The revelations showed the extent of Trump’s obsession over leaks and the extraordinary lengths his administration would go through to investigate them