DOJ Surveillance Revelations Now Spread to Fox News

From Fox News:

The Justice Department obtained a portfolio of information about a Fox News correspondent’s conversations and visits as part of an investigation into a possible leak, The Washington Post reported Monday — in the latest example of the government seizing records of journalists. 

This follows the charge that the department secretly obtained two months of phone records from Associated Press journalists as part of a separate leak probe. The department in this case, though, went a step further, as an FBI agent reportedly claimed there’s evidence the journalist in question — Fox News’ James Rosen — broke the law “at the very least, either as an aider, abettor and/or co-conspirator.” 

That detail would potentially send the case into unprecedented territory. No reporter has been prosecuted for seeking information. Such cases often target the suspected leaker, but not the journalist who published sensitive or classified information. 

In the case involving Rosen, a government adviser was accused of leaking information after a 2009 story was published online which said North Korea planned to respond to looming U.N. sanctions with another nuclear test. 

The Post reported that federal investigators, in pursuing the case, obtained email records from Rosen — but also records of his visits to the State Department headquarters by tracking security-badge information. According to the article, a court affidavit said they used the badge records to log his visits as well as the movements of the adviser, Stephen Jim-Woo Kim. 

An FBI agent said in the affidavit that the visits suggested a “face-to-face” meeting. 

The documents reportedly show investigators seized two days of Rosen’s personal emails, including exchanges with Kim, as well as two months of phone records from Kim’s office.

Asked about the story, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney only noted that it was an “ongoing criminal investigation” and that President Obama is a “firm defender of the First Amendment and freedom of the press.”

  1. Butters

    If a reporter is hiding a source who committed a crime, make them reveal it or prosecute them for withholding evidence in a criminal investigation.

    Shield Law my foot.

    But don’t go trolling for phone records.

  2. SunnyOptimism

    James, Rob, Peter -

    Just remember, you are only required to bring your past three (3) years of tax returns to your impending IRS audit as well as a working credit card number and/or blank cashiers check….

    Oh, and all that clicking you keep hearing on your phone and Skype lines, don’t pay any attention to that…..

    And the guys in hard hats with the unmarked white van doing “street work” in your neighborhood….just let them do their jobs…..

  3. Pilli
    Butters: If a reporter is hiding a source who committed a crime, make them reveal it or prosecute them for withholding evidence in a criminal investigation.

    Shield Law my foot.

    But don’t go trolling for phone records. · 1 hour ago

    “In the case involving Rosen, a government adviser was accused of leaking information after a 2009 story was published online which said North Korea planned to respond to looming U.N. sanctions with another nuclear test.”

    Just exactly what law was being broken here?  Everyone knew about “looming U. N. sanctions.  Everyone was already speculating about the Norks and nuclear tests.  Does this information fall under some “blanket  classification” that automatically classifies everything DOS thinks about?

     I read stories like Rosen’s everyday and think, “What?  Are you having a slow news day?  Having trouble filling column inches?  I already knew about…”

  4. Aaron Miller

    Has any legal case ever established that “freedom of the press” extends to the publication of information knowingly acquired by illegal means (classified information)?

    Are conservatives suddenly fans of Julian Assange?

    Again, I wonder about the modern habit of considering the 1st Amendment only a clause at a time, as if each is independent of the others. By my reading, the Constitution recognizes no rights for reporters which are not shared by all citizens.

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    I am not suggesting there is nothing disturbing about recent events.

  5. Despair Troll

    Here’s a link to the warrant application.

    Here is a link to the article in question.

    I’m going to go out on a limb and say that the government has a legitimate case.

  6. Paul Dougherty

    Is anyone else hearing a familiar ring to this story? It is kind of reminding me of the FBI files that the Clinton Whitehouse was combing through. That, I believe was just low level staffers being overly diligent in performing their security duties, or something.  It seems that it only takes the flimsiest of excuses to research the opposition under the guise of governmental duty.

  7. Umbra Fractus
    Butters: If a reporter is hiding a source who committed a crime, make them reveal it or prosecute them for withholding evidence in a criminal investigation.

    Shield Law my foot.

    But don’t go trolling for phone records. · 4 hours ago

    On any other week I’d agree with you 100%.

    But after all we’ve heard how can you not suspect that they’re just looking for an excuse to go after Fox? This administration has no credibility.

  8. Crow
    Aaron Miller: Has any legal case ever established that “freedom of the press” extends to the publication of information knowingly acquired by illegal means (classified information)?

    Are conservatives suddenly fans of Julian Assange?

    Again, I wonder about the modern habit of considering the 1st Amendment only a clause at a time, as if each is independent of the others. By my reading, the Constitution recognizes no rights for reporters which are not shared by all citizens.

    I agree, Aaron, and its why I consider the AP scandal very far down the list of what concerns me. There is no right to leak classified information in order to earn a Pulitzer. 

    In my eyes, in so far as this is a ‘scandal’, my questions have to do with process, standard procedure, oversight, and transparency. I don’t challenge for a moment the notion that the DOJ has the right to pursue and prosecute these leakers–the question is: is it wise that the Attorney General, without further oversight, have the authority to issue the subpoenas in secret, and seize the breadth of records seized in secret. Would a warrant be better (honest question)? Shouldn’t there be notification immediately prior?

  9. Crow
    Aaron Miller: Are conservatives suddenly fans of Julian Assange?

    One more relevant thought here. I suspect the reason that conservatives are treating this AP scandal as a scandal on par with the others, in addition to the reasons I outlined in #15, is this:

    Conservatives have observed that there is a startling double-standard at work in our politics–not only in the media, but in the internal machinations of much of the bureaucracy in Washington.

    On a practical level, conservatives want the media to continue to push on these scandals, so they are standing with the media for reasons of convenience rather than principle.

    Progressives, when they are out of power, valorize whistle-blowers–they are noble and disinterested everyday folks taking on corrupt institutions! But when they are in power, Progressives smash whistleblowers, because there is a tinge of the one-party-state mentality that the Party cannot ever be Wrong. We are not corrupt, they say.

    If you ask a progressive about this in the abstract, they’ll deny it, of course. But it isn’t their speech that concerns us–the have enough shame to deny it–it is their behavior once in power.

  10. Pseudodionysius

    “firm defender of the First Amendment and freedom of the press.”

    In the same way that he’s a defender of a women’s right to choose an abortion, he likes his press freedom safe, legal and rare.

  11. Pseudodionysius

    White House Press Secretary Jay Carney

    Baghdad Jay.

  12. D.C. McAllister
    C

    I think we all knew it was just a matter of time before we’d find out that Fox reporters were targeted as well. As for Carney’s statement, it’s been proven that he’s a liar, and he’s lying again. Obama is not a defender of the First Amendment because he is not a defender of the Constitution. It’s something that stands in the way of his agenda to transform America into a statist regime. 

  13. Pseudodionysius

    Ari Fleischer ‏@AriFleischer4h

    O Admin achieves the impossible. Causes MSM to rally around Fox News. And it’s only Monday.

    #Zinger

  14. billy

    Ricochet Code of Conduct:

    Anything that makes the Ricochet Community look like a bunch of radical fruitcakes. This includes 99% of conspiracy theories.

    This has to be amended otherwise we’re going to have to stop talking about the Obama Administration altogether.

  15. Colin B Lane
    Pseudodionysius: Ari Fleischer ‏@AriFleischer4h

    O Admin achieves the impossible. Causes MSM to rally around Fox News. And it’s only Monday.

    #Zinger 

    I’m less sanguine. I fear the attack on Fox News will lead the formerly respectable media to embrace The One in their loving arms again.

  16. civil westman

    Of course he is a defender of the First Amendment – just one notch above his defense of the Second.