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Apple secretly turned over information about Trump’s White House counsel in 2018

Apple was required to keep this request secret.

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One of Apple’s biggest pushes over the past couple of years is a focus on privacy for its users. The company has become a stickler about app’s disclosing what information it tracks and in the past has denied government agencies access to terrorists’ iPhones.

It seems that wasn’t the case in 2018, when the Justice Department subpoenaed Apple for information regarding Donald McGahn II, Donald Trump’s White House counsel at the time. In addition, information about Shannon McGahn, Donald’s wife, was given over, as well.

All of this comes from The New York Times, which states that Apple finally made McGahn aware of the subpoena in May of this year. Apple was under orders not to inform McGahn of the information request. It still isn’t clear what the FBI was searching for. The NYT calls the revelation “extraordinary.”

At the time of the subpoena, McGahn was Trump’s top lawyer and probably had large amounts of information regarding the ongoing Russian investigations and more.

Paul M. Rosen, a former federal prosecutor, tells the NYT, “There is a lot here we don’t know, including the facts and circumstances surrounding the request for the delay and what was presented to the judge.” Typically, for a request like this, it needs to be approved by a federal judge.

For those keeping score, 2018 was around the time the Russia investigation, led Robert Mueller III, was taking place. In addition, the New York Times notes McGahn was also involved in another Russian inquiry that involved leaks.

Lawmakers are moving rapidly to figure out exactly what happened, with Senator Chuck Schumer of New York stating, “This was nothing less than a gross abuse of power, an assault on the separation of powers.”

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