The Judicial Affairs Committee in the US House of Representatives announced the opening of an investigation into the targeting of the former US administration, lawmakers and journalists, and the Ministry of Justice's access during 2017 and 2018 to their phone and email records.

Democratic Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler said in a statement that reports indicate that the Trump administration's Department of Justice used criminal investigations as a pretext to spy on political rivals.

Nadler said the reports raise serious constitutional concerns, and may be just the first glimpse into a coordinated effort by the previous administration to target Trump's political opposition.

Nadler stressed the need to know the full extent of this abuse of power, and to hold those responsible for it accountable if the reports are proven true.

Meanwhile, a US Department of Justice official announced the intention of the Department's National Security Division Chief, John Demers, to leave his post after reports that the department had resorted under former President Donald Trump to collect data from Democratic lawmakers and journalists from Apple.

A department official told The Associated Press that Demers will leave his post by the end of next week.

And CNN revealed that the Biden administration's candidate for the post, Matt Olson, is awaiting Senate approval.

Demers headed the National Security Division of the Justice Department under Trump in February 2018, and played a role in the Justice Department's investigations into leaks that accompanied research into Russian election interference and communications between the Trump campaign and foreign officials.