For months, the three reporters were left in the dark as to why the Justice Department had targeted them and who might have authorized the seizures. Now, thanks to newly unsealed court documents related to the investigation, they finally have some answers.
Watch our panel discussion with the Reporters Committee's Gabe Rottman, and two Pulitzer-Prize-winning journalists–Ellen Nakashima from The Washington Post & Charlie Savage from The New York Times–to talk about the history of media leak investigations and their impact on press freedom.
The Department of Justice has dropped lawsuit against former National Security Adviser John Bolton over his memoir, “The Room Where It Happened.” The agency originally claimed the memoir contained confidential information, and had requested a court order blocking the publisher from distributing copies of the book.
On June 14, Attorney General Merrick Garland met with leaders of The New York Times, CNN, and The Washington Post to strengthen rules for obtaining journalists' records during leak investigations. The meeting took place after several reports emerged saying that the Department of Justice, under the Trump administration, had secretly subpoenaed journalists’ phone and email logs in an effort to uncover sources in stories that had been leaked to the press.
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.
On May 17th, court documents were unsealed showing that during the administration of former President Donald Trump, the Department of Justice (DOJ) issued Twitter a grand jury subpoena requesting the company to unmask an account critical of U.S. Representative Devin Nunes. The DOJ sought to obtain the identity of the individual operating the account known as @NunesAlt.
“There is not a single person in the United States—not the President and not anyone else—whose job description includes slandering women they sexually assaulted,” Roberta Kaplan wrote in response to the Department of Justice’s motion. “That should not be a controversial proposition. Remarkably, however, the Justice Department seeks to prove it wrong.”
Federal prosecutors say they will abandon efforts to prevent Michael Cohen from talking to the media and publishing his tell-all book on the president. The letter comes one week after Hellerstein ordered Cohen’s release from prison. Cohen was returned to prison after he refused to sign an agreement barring him from posting on social media, talking to the press, and releasing his forthcoming book on Trump.