Skip to comments.AP CEO's letter to Eric Holder
Posted on 05/13/2013 5:24:46 PM PDT by NachumEdited on 05/13/2013 5:40:13 PM PDT by Admin Moderator. [history]
May 13, 2013
Attorney General Eric Holder
Department of Justice Washington, D . C .
Dear General Holder :
I am writing to object in the strongest possible terms to a massive and unprecedented intrusion by the Department of Justice into the newsgathering activities of The Associated Press.
Last Friday afternoon, AP General Counsel Laura Malone received a letter from the office of United States Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. advisin g that, at some unidentified time earlier this year, the Department obtained telephone toll records for more than 20 separate telephone lines assigned to the AP and its journalists. The records that were secretly obtained cover a full two month period in early 2012 and, at least as described in Mr. Machens letter, include all such records for, among other phone lines, an AP general phone number in New York City as well as AP bureaus in New York City, Washington, D.C., Hartford, Connecticut, and at the House of Representatives. This action was taken without advance notice to AP or to any of the affected journalists, and even after the fact no notice has been sent to individual journalists whose home phones and cell phone records were seized by the Department.
There can be no possible justification for such an overbroad collection of the telephone communications of The Associated Press and its reporters. These records potentially reveal communications with confidential sources across all of the newsgathering activities undertaken by the AP during a two month period, provide a road map to APs newsgathering operations, and disclose information about APs activities and operations that the government has no conceivable right to know.
That the Department underto ok this unprecedented step without providing any notice to the AP, and without taking any steps to narrow the scope of its subpoenas to matters actually relevant to an ongoing investigation, is particularly troubling.
The sheer volume of records obtained, most of which can have no plausible connection to any ongoing investigation, indicates, at a minimum, that this effort did not comply with 28 C.F.R. §50.10 and should therefore never have been undertaken in the first place. The regulations require that, i n all cases and without exception, a subpoena for a reporters telephone toll records must be as narrowly drawn as possible. This plainly did not happen.
We regard this action by the Department of Justice as a serious interference with APs constitutional rights to gather and report the news. While we evaluate our options we urgently request that you immediately return to the AP the telephone toll records that the Department subpoenaed and destroy all copies. At a minimum, we request that you take steps to segregate these records and prohibit any reference to them pending further discussion and, if it proves necessary, guidance from appropriate judicial authorities. We also ask for an immediate explanation as to why this extraordinary action w as taken, and a description of the steps the Department will take to mitigate its impact on AP and its reporters.
Given the gravity of this situation, I look forward to your prompt response.
“What’s next, the Comfy Chair?”
Monty Python’s hisorical/sterical version of the Spanish Inquistion.
I don't either and I furthermore think they're too stupid to realize what a big deal this really is. Obama will come out with some pedantic, condescending explanation and the dopes in the media will eat it up.
Shiny object ...
The hilarious part is that the AP was in SlObama’s back pocket.
AP, Newspaper Guild protest DOJs massive intrusion into newsgathering activities
Under sweeping subpoenas, Justice Department obtained AP phone records in leak investigation
AP calls government’s record seizure a ‘massive and unprecedented intrusion’
I read the original one just fine. It’s not rocket science, dude.
The AP should know that 0bozo doesn’t care about the First Amendment. Or at least they would if they hadn’t drunk his kool-aid
Yup. You're exactly right. I've been reading the lib comments to this story over at the Washington Post and they're all "national security, blah, blah, blah." The useful idiots in the media will buy the national security line hook, line, and sinker all because the explanation comes from the great and powerful Ozbama.
Oh, when it happens to the MSM, then it is out of bounds and wrong. When gun owners, veterans, pro-lifers, Christians, Jewish lobbyists, Conservatives, or Constitutional patriots.......then that’s just standard business.
What goes around comes around.
I'm a tad skeptical about this AP story until I learn the motive and guest list for the "deep background" pre-presser meeting last Friday. The news agencies have become the story twice in as many days. Has anyone spilled the beans about that off-the-record Friday meeting yet?
Mmmmm, your tears are delicious, Pruitt.
Are you starting to see yet?
I don't think so either.
I’d bet there are some reporters at the AP that find this all kinda sexy in a masochistic way. MSNBC is definitely jealous.
That’s the most racist letter I’ve ever seen. If it makes Holder or Obozo look bad, it has to be racist.
Haven't heard anything yet. Do we even know who was invited to attend?
Good start, but it’s broader than that. Knowing what AP will print before they print it gave them an edge...
story does not pass the smell test
Ben Ghazi WAS a long time ago:
I’m reading a Vince Flynn novel written before 2001, and a major enemy is named Muammar Benghazi.
Just had to smile at that.
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