DOJ Seized Associated Press Telephone Records
From the Associated Press itself:
The Justice Department secretly obtained two months of telephone records of reporters and editors for The Associated Press in what the news cooperative’s top executive called a “massive and unprecedented intrusion” into how news organizations gather the news.The White House says it don’t know nothin’ about it. From a statement by White House Press Secretary Jay Carney:
The records obtained by the Justice Department listed outgoing calls for the work and personal phone numbers of individual reporters, for general AP office numbers in New York, Washington and Hartford, Conn., and for the main number for the AP in the House of Representatives press gallery, according to attorneys for the AP. It was not clear if the records also included incoming calls or the duration of the calls.
In all, the government seized the records for more than 20 separate telephone lines assigned to AP and its journalists in April and May of 2012 . . .
The government would not say why it sought the records. Officials have previously said in public testimony that the U.S. attorney in Washington is conducting a criminal investigation into who may have provided information contained in a May 7, 2012, AP story about a foiled terror plot. The story disclosed details of a CIA operation in Yemen that stopped an al-Qaida plot in the spring of 2012 to detonate a bomb on an airplane bound for the United States.
Other than press reports, we have no knowledge of any attempt by the Justice Department to seek phone records of the AP. We are not involved in decisions made in connection with criminal investigations, as those matters are handled independently by the Justice Department. Any questions about an ongoing criminal investigation should be directed to the Department of Justice.Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren, a former trial attorney, told Politico the DOJ’s seizure “sounds like a dragnet to intimidate the media” instead of a criminal investigation.
“What is stunning is the breadth of the seizure!” Van Susteren said. “If you read the AP President’s letter to DOJ, and if his letter is accurate, the seizure was very broad: 2 months of telephone records involving many who work at AP!This administration routinely attempts to intimidate the media. It has never had any respect for freedom of the press. Washington reporters, including those with the Associated Press, know that and yet carry on quietly as if nothing is wrong.
Now, to use a scientific term, it’s finally biting them in the ass.