The Department of Justice's (DOJ) top national security lawyer is resigning from his post amid revelations the department secretly sought the records of journalists and Democratic lawmakers, The Associated Press reported Monday.
John Demers, assistant attorney general of the DOJ's national security division, will leave by the end of next week, the news service reported.
His resignation comes as the DOJ is under increasing scrutiny for its handling of leak investigations initiated under the Trump administration that sought the records of House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffSunday shows - Spotlight shifts to omicron variant Schiff: Jan. 6 panel decision on charges for Meadows could come this week GOP eyes booting Democrats from seats if House flips MORE (D-Calif.) and member Rep. Eric SwalwellEric Michael SwalwellGOP eyes booting Democrats from seats if House flips Omar calls out Boebert over anti-Muslim remarks, denies Capitol incident took place McCarthy pledges to restore Greene, Gosar to committees if GOP wins House MORE (D-Calif.), journalists from three media outlets and even former White House counsel Don McGahn.
Under the Biden administration, the DOJ continued to pursue gag orders against media companies, seeking to block them from alerting those whose records had been seized.
Demers has served in the role since February of 2018, beginning shortly after some of the subpoenas to major communications companies had been issued.
Senate Majority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerDemocratic frustration growing over stagnating voting rights bills Schumer mourns death of 'amazing' father Feehery: The honest contrarian MORE (D-N.Y.) and Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Dick DurbinDick DurbinGraham emerges as go-to ally for Biden's judicial picks 91 House Dems call on Senate to expand immigration protections in Biden spending bill Bipartisan senators press FBI, inspector general for changes following Nassar case MORE (D-Ill.) had called on Demers to testify before the committee along with former Attorneys General William BarrBill BarrMichael Cohen officially released from prison sentence Incoming NAACP Legal Defense Fund president sees progress against 'revitalized mission to advance white supremacy' Fox's Bartiromo called Bill Barr 'screaming' about election fraud: book MORE and Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsThose predicting Facebook's demise are blowing smoke If bitcoin is 'digital gold,' it should be taxed like gold The metaverse is coming — society should be wary MORE, who served in the Trump administration.
Demers’s resignation comes as Attorney General Merrick GarlandMerrick GarlandGarland orders DOJ to prioritize violence on airplanes Buttigieg has high name recognition, favorability rating in Biden Cabinet: survey DOJ seeks to block merger of major sugar companies MORE announced the DOJ would review its policies for collecting records from lawmakers in parallel with a wide-ranging probe being conducted by the agency’s inspector general.
“While that review is pending, I have instructed the Deputy Attorney General, who is already working on surfacing potentially problematic matters deserving high level review, to evaluate and strengthen the department’s existing policies and procedures for obtaining records of the Legislative branch,” Garland said in a statement on Monday.