As the FBI probe into the Trump campaign ties with Russia intensifies, in yet another disturbing twist, White House staff are purging their phones of tweets and messages because they are afraid that they will be subpoenaed, MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell reported Friday.
During MSNBC’s coverage of the House Debate over the American Health Care Act, host Andrea Mitchell was interviewing New York Republican Representative Dan Donovan about his pending vote against the GOP bill when she brought up the Russia investigation issue.
“I learned from a source […] I’m told that there are a lot of former transition team members in and outside of the White House now purging their private phones – afraid that they are gonna get subpoenaed by these various investigators,” Mitchell said.
Then she asked Donovan: “What is their legal risk for purging their phones of any transition comments?”
Representative Donovan replied, “I’m not sure… I’m not privy.”
Mitchell pressed on for additional information: “What if you’ve gotten a letter from the White House council or someone else telling you to preserve?”
“There might be legal ramifications,” Donovan’s responded.
This is not the first time White House staff private phones have become the subject of media scrutiny.
Last month, after Press Secretary Sean Spicer became aware that information had leaked out of a planning meeting with about a dozen of his communications staffers, he reconvened the group in his office to express his frustration over the number of private conversations and meetings that were showing up in unflattering news stories, according to Politico.
The phone checks included whatever electronics staffers were carrying when they were summoned to the unexpected follow-up meeting, including government-issued and personal cell phones.