On June 2nd, the Department of Justice revealed that during the administration of former President Donald Trump, the DOJ acquired the phone records of four reporters from The New York Times. The phone records date from the first several months of 2017.
According to The New York Times, the news organization speculates that the acquisition of the phone records were in regards to an article published in April of 2017 concerning then director of the FBI James Comey and his decision to not charge Hillary Clinton for using a private email server when she was secretary of state.
According to The New York Times, the publication’s executive editor, Dean Baquet, asserted in a statement that “[s]eizing the phone records of journalists profoundly undermines press freedom,” further adding that “[i]t threatens to silence the sources we depend on to provide the public with essential information about what the government is doing.”
Three reporters from The Washington Post and one reporter from CNN also had their phone records acquired by the DOJ under President Trump according to media reports in May of 2021.