The Department of Justice contacts the Associated Press that the Justice Department was spying on their reporters. A widespread open ended way that the AP didn’t know about until Justice Department informed them.
The Justice Department secretly obtained 2 months of phone records for 28 phone lines. It includes main office numbers in New York, D.C. and Hartford, Connecticut. As well ad the main number for AP reporters at Press Gallery which covers the House of Representatives and work and personal numbers belonging to 5 reporters and 1 editor. There is no indications that the Justice Department has the recorded content of the calls. But they do now have incoming call number, outgoing call numbers and duration of calls.
In response to receiving the information from the Justice Department, the AP sent an angry letter to Attorney General Eric Holder. There can be no possible justification for such an overbroad collection of the telwphone communications of the Associated Press and its reporters. Those records potentially reveal communications with confidential sources across all of the newsgathering activities undertaken by the AP during a 2 month period, provide a roadmap to the AP’s newsgathering operations, and disclose information about AP’s activities and operations that the government has no concievable right to know. We demand that you return to the AP the telephone records that the Department subpoenaed and destroy all copies. We also ask for immediate explanation as to why this extraordinary action was taken, and a description of the steps the Justice Department will take to mitigate its impact on the AP and its reporters.
The Justice Department did not give any details as to why they started the investigation. All 6 whose records were siezed were involved in an AP story last year that reported about the CIA infiltrated an Al Qaida plot to blow up an airliner. It was a big deal because it was right in the heart of Al Qaida in Yemen.
10 days before this was foiled the Obama administration said that they did not have any idea of any terrorist attacks. The White House denies any knowledge of the investigation. It us legal because of a Media Shield that Republicans blocked. It us unparalleled and very unorthodox, but it is legal. It is not unprecedented for the Justice Department to get reporters information. There are regulations for these things that try to craft the subpoena as narrow as possible. If Republicans workers with Democrats this issue would not be at hand.
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