WASHINGTON (AP) — 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 head rat at the DOJ approved the operation...
The records obtained by the Justice Department listed incoming and outgoing calls, and the duration of each call, for the work and personal phone numbers of individual reporters, general AP office numbers in New York, Washington and Hartford, Conn., and the main number for AP reporters in the House of Representatives press gallery, according to attorneys for the AP.
In all, the government seized those records for more than 20 separate telephone lines assigned to AP and its journalists in April and May of 2012. The exact number of journalists who used the phone lines during that period is unknown but more than 100 journalists work in the offices whose phone records were targeted on a wide array of stories about government and other matters.
Via Philip Klein:
On Monday afternoon, the Associated Press reported that the U.S. Department of Justice had “secretly obtained two months of telephone records” from 20 phone lines assigned to reporters and editors from the global news organization. The shocking revelation comes on top of news that the IRS targeted conservative groups for special scrutiny. It will be harder for President Obama to pin the DOJ’s action on lower level bureaucrats, however, because requests to subpoena news organization records require the approval of Attorney General Eric Holder.
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