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Christopher Ott Quoted in Los Angeles Times Article on Justice Department's Investigation Into Use of Secret Subpoenas

June 11, 2021

Partner Christopher Ott is quoted in a Los Angeles Times article on the Justice Department's recently launched investigation into federal prosecutors who used secret subpoenas to obtain records from Apple of two lawmakers on the House Intelligence Committee, as well as their staff and members of their families. The subpoenas were issued by a federal grand jury in February 2018, and representatives Adam B. Schiff (D-Burbank), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, and Eric Swalwell (D-Dublin), learned about the subpoenas from Apple last month. 

Mr. Ott, who held various roles at the Department of Justice, including as a prosecutor, before joining Rothwell Figg, "said he was not aware of the subpoenas and was surprised they had been issued. He said prosecutors generally believed that such investigations were very difficult because 'under the current state of the law you cannot successfully prosecute a member of Congress for leaking.'"

"Mr. Ott said he suspected prosecutors wanted to demonstrate that they were at least trying to exhaustively investigate such matters. 'The danger of doing that, however, is that if you don’t have a legitimate criminal investigative purpose,' he said, 'then it could be interpreted as an exercise for political reasons, or even something more sinister.'"

To read the full Los Angeles Times article, "Justice Dept. to probe secret subpoena for Schiff’s records on Trump’s watch," please click here.