Washington, DC — On restoring accountability to the Department of Justice after its secret efforts to obtain the phone records of lawmakers and journalists were recently exposed, Lisa Rosenberg, Executive Director of Open The Government, issued the following statement:
“Surveillance of members of Congress for political gain is a serious attack on the separation of powers that safeguards our democracy. The Department of Justice’s secret subpoena for the records of House Intelligence Committee members, their aides, and even a minor, represents one of the worst abuses of the department.
“The egregious conduct, alongside reports the department has extensively surveilled journalists, should compel Attorney General Merrick Garland and the Biden administration to make a firm commitment to implement long-overdue reform at the department. Independent of the White House, Garland should initiate a review of all instances of politicization of law enforcement activities at the Justice Department to protect the integrity of investigations. The American public deserves an independent Justice Department that operates in good faith and upholds the rule of law, not one that hides its misconduct. The House Intelligence Committee and the House and Senate Judiciary Committees must fully investigate the department’s misconduct, and enact legislation to prevent future abuses by the executive branch.”