Silicon Valley powerhouse Apple last month told former President Donald Trump’s top lawyer, Donald McGahn, the Justice Department had subpoenaed information about his account in February 2018, the New York Times reported Sunday.
The Times, citing two unnamed sources, reported the government also barred Apple from telling McGahn at the time, according to two people briefed on the matter. His wife also got a similar notice from Apple, the Times reported.
It’s not clear what FBI agents were looking at, or if McGahn was the specific focus, the Times reported.
The disclosure comes in the wake of revelations about Trump-era seizures of data of reporters and Democrats in Congress for leak investigations. McGahn, as White House counsel, was a chief point of contact between the White House and the Justice Department.
Apple didn’t tell McGahn what it gave the government, the Times reported.
Apple told the McGahns it got a subpoena Feb. 23, 2018; it had been issued by a grand jury in the Eastern District of Virginia, the Times reported.
At the time, a federal court in the Eastern District of Virginia was the center of one part of the Russia inquiry led by the special counsel, Robert Mueller, that focused on Paul Manafort, the onetime chairman of the 2016 Trump presidential campaign. Manafort was hit with new fraud changes the day before the subpoena, the Times reported.
Also around that time, Trump had become angry at McGahn over a matter related to the Russia investigation, and that included a leak.
Apple on Friday said it has tightened some of its rules for responding to legal requests after the U.S. Justice Department, during Donald Trump's presidency, subpoenaed it for information on Democratic lawmakers.
Apple said it recently instituted a limit of 25 identifiers such as email addresses or phone numbers per legal request.
The Cupertino, Calif.-based company said it received a subpoena from the Justice Department in February 2018 for information on 109 identifiers made up of 73 phone numbers and 36 email addresses, but that it did not release content such as emails and pictures to prosecutors.
The Times on Thursday reported federal prosecutors subpoenaed Apple and other companies as part of an investigation searching for the sources behind news media reports about contacts between Trump's associates and Russia.
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