John Demers, DOJ's Top NSA Official, Leaving Job After Backlash Over Subpoena of Dems Data

John Demers, the Justice Department's top NSA official, will be resigning by the end of next week, officials told the Associated Press on Monday.

Demers will be leaving after revelations his department secretly seized records from Democrats and members of the media. The resignation comes as questions about Demers involvement of the efforts to seize the phone data from House Democrats and reporters as part of investigations into leaks were rising.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below:

John Demers News Conference 2020
Assistant Attorney General for the National Security Division John Demers speaks at a news conference at the Department of Justice, Oct. 19, 2020, in Washington, D.C. Six Russian military intelligence officers have been charged with carrying out cyberattacks on Ukraine's power grid, the 2017 French elections and the 2018 Winter Olympics, the U.S. Justice Department announced on Oct. 19, 2020. Andrew Harnik/Getty Images

Demers, who was sworn in a few weeks after the subpoena for the Democrats' records, is a Trump appointee who has remained in the Biden administration. He is one of the few remaining Trump appointees still in office.

News emerged last week the Justice Department had secretly subpoenaed Apple for metadata from House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff and another Democratic member of the panel, California Rep. Eric Swalwell, in 2018, as their committee was investigating then-President Donald Trump's ties to Russia. Schiff at the time was the top Democrat on the panel, which was led by Republicans.

The records of at least 12 people connected to the House intelligence panel were eventually shared with the Justice Department by Apple after the subpoena was issued in 2018. The people included aides, former aides and family members. One was a minor.

The subpoena, issued Feb. 6, 2018, requested information on 73 phone numbers and 36 email addresses, Apple said. It also included a non-disclosure order that prohibited the company from notifying any of the people and was renewed three times, the company said in a statement.

Demers will be replaced by Mark Lesko, the acting U.S. attorney in the Eastern District of New York, the official said.

Demers has been in charge of the department's national security division since February 2018, being sworn in a few weeks after the subpoena was issued to Apple for the Democrats' records, and his division has played a role in each of the leak investigations.

President Joe Biden has nominated Matt Olsen, an executive at Uber who has experience in the Justice Department and served as director of the National Counterterrorism Center and as general counsel for the National Security Agency, to be the next assistant attorney general for national security. But Demers has remained in place while Olsen awaits a confirmation hearing in the Senate.

The Justice Department's inspector general has launched a probe into the matter after a request from Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco. Inspector General Michael Horowitz said he would examine whether the data subpoenaed by the Justice Department and turned over by Apple followed department policy and "whether any such uses, or the investigations, were based upon improper considerations."

In a statement Monday, Attorney General Merrick Garland said that "political or other improper considerations must play no role in any investigative or prosecutorial decisions" and he expects the inspector general to conduct a thorough investigation.

"If at any time as the investigation proceeds action related to the matter in question is warranted, I will not hesitate to move swiftly," Garland said.

"Consistent with our commitment to the rule of law," he said, "we must ensure that full weight is accorded to separation-of-powers concerns moving forward."

John Demers DC 2020
Assistant Attorney General for the National Security Division John Demers speaks at a news conference at the Department of Justice, on Oct. 19, 2020 in Washington, D.C. The Justice Department announced an indictment against six Russia GRU officers charged with engaging in a series of hacking and malware deployment operations to attack other countries' infrastructure, elections and other actions designed to further Russia's interests. Andrew Harnik/Getty Images