The news Tuesday that the U.S. House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack has subpoenaed the personal telephone records of President Donald Trump’s son, Eric; his son Don Jr.’s fiancée, Kimberly Guilfoyle; and several of his attorneys, including former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, is the latest sign that the committee is abusing its power to spy on Trump’s family, to abuse his rights, and to create opposition research: in short, to create their own version of Wikileaks.
Recall that Wikileaks released two sets of hacked emails that created embarrassment for Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) in 2016.
The DNC emails, published on the eve of the Democratic National Convention, suggested party officials conspired to rig the presidential primary against Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT). Later, the emails of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta embarrassed the candidate and the media outlets who carried water for her.
Clinton and her party blamed Russian hackers for the leaks, and began insinuating that then-candidate Donald Trump was colluding with the Russian government of Vladimir Putin to sink the campaign. Years of investigation would later confirm that Trump had nothing to do with it.
(Meanwhile, of course, the Clinton campaign and the DNC were planting fake stories about Trump’s ties to Russia — ironically, using a dubious source who was previously suspected of being a Russian spy.)
Even though Special Counsel Robert Mueller did not find any evidence linking Trump to Russia, the Democrats still blame Wikileaks and Russian interference for Clinton’s loss in 2016.
They are taking their revenge in the January 6 committee, by looking for private — and constitutionally-protected — information about the internal communications of the Trump White House, the communications of Trump’s lawyers, and even the personal communications of his close aides and his family.
Several objections have already been raised in court to what the January 6 committee is trying to do. Former Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows has argued in a lawsuit that the committee has violated the terms of its own enabling resolution, as well as the Constitution’s separation of powers.
But the attempt to gather the communications of Trump’s attorneys crosses a further line, implicating attorney-client privilege and violating the Sixth Amendment right to counsel.
Attorney-client privilege cannot protect communications from a client to a lawyer if they are part of a crime. But there is no evidence whatsoever tying any of the subpoena targets to a crime or to the January 6 Capitol riot. This time last year, the Senate was taking up the second Trump impeachment trial, and the House impeachment crew — headed by Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), who is also on the January 6 committee — provided a lot of hoax “evidence” but failed to win a conviction.
The January 6 committee’s methods bear the fingerprints of Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), right down to the secret depositions and the attempt to spy on other people’s phone conversations, including the president’s own lawyers.
Schiff, too, is on the January 6 committee, and he is using it the same way he tried to use the House Intelligence Committee in 2019: to dig up as much dirt as possible, and faking whatever necessary, to smear his opponents and undermine their ability to function.
Schiff was obsessed with Wikileaks and its role in 2016. He and his colleagues are now attempting to use — or abuse — the power of Congress, which has no law enforcement authority, to “investigate” his opponents, their staff, their lawyers, and their families. His purpose is not only to prevent Trump from running again, but to find out about the inner workings of the Republican opposition.
It is like the Democrats’ own version of Wikileaks — but this crime is happening in broad daylight.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.