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Old 05-08-2021, 09:19 AM  
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Trump Justice Department secretly obtained Post reporters’ phone records

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/polit...ds/ar-BB1gu5rD

The Trump Justice Department secretly obtained Washington Post journalists’ phone records and tried to obtain their email records over reporting they did in the early months of the Trump administration on Russia’s role in the 2016 election, according to government letters and officials.

In three separate letters dated May 3 and addressed to Post reporters Ellen Nakashima and Greg Miller, and former Post reporter Adam Entous, the Justice Department wrote they were “hereby notified that pursuant to legal process the United States Department of Justice received toll records associated with the following telephone numbers for the period from April 15, 2017 to July 31, 2017.” The letters listed work, home or cellphone numbers covering that three-and-a-half-month period.

Cameron Barr, The Post’s acting executive editor, said: “We are deeply troubled by this use of government power to seek access to the communications of journalists. The Department of Justice should immediately make clear its reasons for this intrusion into the activities of reporters doing their jobs, an activity protected under the First Amendment.”

News organizations and First Amendment advocates have long decried the government practice of seizing journalists’ records in an effort to identify the sources of leaks, saying it unjustly chills critical newsgathering. The last such high-profile seizure of reporters’ communications records came several years ago as part of an investigation into the source of stories by a reporter who worked at BuzzFeed, Politico and the New York Times. The stories at issue there also centered around 2017 reporting on the investigation into Russian election interference.

It is rare for the Justice Department to use subpoenas to get records of reporters in leak investigations, and such moves must be approved by the attorney general. The letters do not say precisely when the reporters’ records were taken and reviewed, but a department spokesman said the decision to do so came in 2020, during the Trump administration. William P. Barr, who served as Trump’s attorney general for nearly all of that year, before departing Dec. 23, declined to comment.

The Justice Department defended its decision to subpoena Post reporters’ records as an investigative step of last resort that was not taken lightly.

“While rare, the Department follows the established procedures within its media guidelines policy when seeking legal process to obtain telephone toll records and non-content email records from media members as part of a criminal investigation into unauthorized disclosure of classified information,” said Marc Raimondi, a spokesman for the Justice Department. “The targets of these investigations are not the news media recipients but rather those with access to the national defense information who provided it to the media and thus failed to protect it as lawfully required.”

The phone records taken include the numbers of all the calls made to and from the targeted phone over the specified time period, and how long each call lasted, but do not include what was said in those phone calls. Investigators often hope such records will provide clues about possible sources the reporters were in contact with before a particular story published.

The letters to the three reporters also noted that prosecutors got a court order to obtain “non content communication records” for the reporters’ work email accounts, but did not obtain such records. The email records sought would have indicated who emailed whom and when, but would not have included the contents of the emails.

The letter does not state the purpose of the phone records seizure, but toward the end of the time period mentioned in the letters, those reporters wrote a story about classified U.S. intelligence intercepts indicating that in 2016, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) had discussed the Trump campaign with Sergey Kislyak, who was Russia’s ambassador to the United States. Justice Department officials would not say if that reporting was the reason for the search of journalists’ phone records. Sessions subsequently became President Donald Trump’s first attorney general and was at the Justice Department when the article appeared.

About a month before that story published, the same three journalists also wrote a detailed story about the Obama administration’s internal struggles to counter Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Entous, who now works at the New Yorker, declined to comment.

Bruce Brown, executive director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, said the incident “raises serious First Amendment concerns because it interferes with the free flow of information to the public,” and he called on the Justice Department to explain “exactly when prosecutors seized these records, why it is only now notifying The Post, and on what basis the Justice Department decided to forgo the presumption of advance notification under its own guidelines when the investigation apparently involves reporting over three years in the past.”

The two letters received at The Post were signed by Channing D. Phillips, the acting U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, and John C. Demers, the head of the Justice Department’s national security division. The correspondence listed five phones for which records had been seized: Nakashima’s work, cellphone and home phone, and Miller’s work phone and cellphone. The letter to Entous cited his cellphone number.

Parts of the timeline of the leak investigation are still unclear, and many of those details are often withheld by investigators. Under Justice Department regulations that guide investigations involving media records, the department is usually required to eventually tell the news organization that it took the step of obtaining such records. In this case, the decision to get the records occurred during the Trump administration and the notification of the reporters fell to the Biden administration.

The seizure of reporters’ phone records has been a controversial topic in recent years, as both the Trump and Obama administrations escalated efforts to stop leaks and prosecute government officials who disclose secrets to reporters.

In early August 2017 — days after the time period covered by the search of The Post reporters’ phone records — Sessions held a news conference to announce an intensified effort to hunt and prosecute leakers in government.

“This culture of leaking must stop,” Sessions said, noting that the number of leak investigations had tripled since the end of the prior administration. That announcement seemed aimed at appeasing Trump, who had publicly complained about leaks that made him look bad, and branded Sessions “weak” on hunting leakers.

Justice Department policy dictates that investigators in leak cases should exhaust all other possible sources of information before considering trying to examine journalists’ records.

During the Obama administration, the department prosecuted nine leak cases, more than all previous administrations combined. In one case, prosecutors called a reporter a criminal “co-conspirator” and secretly went after journalists’ phone records in a bid to identify reporters’ sources. Prosecutors also sought to compel a reporter to testify and identify a source, though they ultimately backed down from that effort.

In response to criticism about such tactics, in 2015, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. issued updates to the rules about media leak investigations aimed at creating new internal checks on how often and how aggressively prosecutors seek reporters’ records.

In response to Trump’s concerns, Sessions and others discussed changing the rules to seek journalists’ phone records earlier in leak investigations, but the regulations were never changed.
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Old 05-08-2021, 12:00 PM   #16
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It's never about the principle of an issue with Trump supporters. It's about whether they benefit politically from it or not. This has been demonstrated countless times already and it's just beating a dead horse at this point.
Accurate.

Lots of dead horses laying around...
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Old 05-08-2021, 12:01 PM   #17
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The First Amendment only covers print journalism.
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Old 05-08-2021, 12:07 PM   #18
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He is preferable to any conservative and I will defend him on the grounds that many of the attacks against him on here are based on lies and misinformation, but no I do not think Obama was anything special besides being a very charismatic speaker. If you think Bernie supporters adore Obama you're clueless, which actually sounds about right.
No, Bernie Bros hated Obama because he wasn't a bigger commie, which is a pretty remarkable statement unto itself. We all understand that.
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Old 05-08-2021, 12:18 PM   #19
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No, Bernie Bros hated Obama because he wasn't a bigger commie, which is a pretty remarkable statement unto itself. We all understand that.
Exactly!
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Old 05-08-2021, 12:23 PM   #20
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Old 05-08-2021, 12:27 PM   #21
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Where are Bernie supporters at now with him? Are you still hoping he can be President or are you moving on?
Bernie is still cool, but his window to be President has likely passed. Not much more to be said at this point.

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No, Bernie Bros hated Obama because he wasn't a bigger commie, which is a pretty remarkable statement unto itself. We all understand that.
I'm pretty sure you think anybody to the left of Mike Pence is a communist. But I'm happy you at least conceded the part where I am a fan of Obama.
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Old 05-08-2021, 12:28 PM   #22
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The First Amendment only covers print journalism.
What?
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Old 05-08-2021, 12:34 PM   #23
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Bernie is still cool, but his window to be President has likely passed. Not much more to be said at this point.



I'm pretty sure you think anybody to the left of Mike Pence is a communist. But I'm happy you at least conceded the part where I am a fan of Obama.
Is there a new person you’ve identified to back for POTUS? The Bernie contingent is not small so I’m curious.
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Old 05-08-2021, 02:17 PM   #24
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Is there a new person you’ve identified to back for POTUS? The Bernie contingent is not small so I’m curious.
AOC
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Old 05-08-2021, 02:28 PM   #25
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..The records were obtained under a court order at a time when the reporters were looking into intelligence intercepts indicating that soon-to-be attorney general Jeff Sessions had discussed the Trump campaign with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak in 2016.

The Washington Post said its reporters – Ellen Nakashima, Greg Miller, and former Post reporter Adam Entous – had recently been notified by the justice department of a court order to obtain “non-content communication records”. A request to obtain their emails was denied...
https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world...ys/ar-BB1gvvMa


So... not really all that secret.
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Old 05-08-2021, 02:29 PM   #26
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That's awesome, the Post is a criminal organization anyways
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Old 05-08-2021, 02:45 PM   #27
Just Passin' By Just Passin' By is offline
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That's awesome, the Post is a criminal organization anyways
This kind of intrusion is always problematic, but not always a problem, if you know what I'm saying. It depends on the why. In this case, I don't like it, but it has an obvious theoretical national security basis to it.


Quote:
In a statement, the justice department said: “While rare, the department follows the established procedures within its media guidelines policy when seeking legal process to obtain telephone toll records and non-content email records from media members as part of a criminal investigation into unauthorized disclosure of classified information.”
https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world...ys/ar-BB1gvvMa

And, in general, the mainstream media can go **** itself when it comes to crying about the first amendment. They just spent 4 years demonstrating that they don't give a shit about the first amendment for anyone but themselves. When they start to remember that it applies to everyone, I'll start to care about it as more than just an academic note when it's applied to them.
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Old 05-08-2021, 05:24 PM   #28
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It's very Dongerish
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Old 05-08-2021, 05:28 PM   #29
Al Czervik Al Czervik is offline
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Yep

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Originally Posted by LiveSteam View Post
It's very Dongerish
I am not sure anyone suffered more from OMB than Dong....
Oaktard, EDeunuch, Cumsmo, and Rodedouche definitely gave him a run for the money......
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Old 05-08-2021, 06:15 PM   #30
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stopped reading at the first sentence when they called them journalists
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