The Times also reported that prosecutors had struggled to develop information that would tie members of the Intelligence Committee or their aides to the leaks, but Mr. Barr, after being sworn into office in 2019, objected to closing the investigation. The lawsuit was eventually ended without charge.
A person close to Sessions said he was also unaware that the Justice Department had subpoenaed data belonging to members of the House Intelligence Committee as well as their staff and families. At the time, investigators were trying to determine the source of the leak about the Russia investigation; Sessions was briefed on most of the Russia-related issues after he spoke with the Russian ambassador during the 2016 election campaign.
Rod J. Rosenstein, Mr. Sessions’ deputy, who has handled matters the attorney general reuses himself, declined to comment.
In this case, the Intelligence Committee affiliates learned of the full extent of the surveillance only in May, after Apple’s gag order expired and the company notified individuals whose data had been compromised. subpoenaed by subpoena.
But there are also signs of earlier activity. The FBI questioned Michael Bahar, a former House Intelligence Committee employee, in the spring of 2020, according to current and former government officials.
Copies of subpoenas for Microsoft reviewed by The Times show that the department is seeking records from April 2016 that may have tied committee officials to specific accounts, such as information about who is working. using the account, with what device, how is their status. sign in, from where and when, and other subscriber information provided to Microsoft when the account is set up.
A Microsoft spokesman confirmed Friday that it received a subpoena but was also subject to a gag order for more than two years that prevented the company from notifying an aide of the seizure.
Katie Benner contribution report.