Washington – The top national security official of the United States Department of Justice resigned due to revelations that this instance secretly obtained documents from journalists and Democratic politicians.
John Demers will step down from office at the end of this week, a Justice Department source told The Associated Press on Monday, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The resignation comes amid questions about what Demers knew about the Justice Department’s attempts to obtain phone data from Democratic congressmen and journalists as part of an investigation into information leaked to the press, initiated under President Donald Trump.
Revelations emerged last week that the Justice Department secretly required Apple to hand over phone data about House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff and another Democratic panel member, Eric Swalwell, in 2018 in moments when the commission was investigating ties between Trump and Russia. Schiff at the time was the highest-ranking Democrat on that commission, which was chaired by Republicans.
The announcement comes after Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer demanded Demers appear before Congress to answer questions on the matter, as well as those of former Attorney Generals Bill Barr and Jeff Sessions.
Demers will be replaced by Mark Lesko, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, the source said.
Demers had headed the department’s national security division since February 2018, just weeks after the request from Apple. The division has participated in all investigations into leaks to the press.