The Justice Department begged a federal judge to not tell Fox News reporter James Rosen that it was tracking his telephone calls and emails in a probe regarding a national security leak.
U.S. Attorney Ron Machen argued in 2010 that the traditional 30-day notice period did not apply to Rosen as Justice secretly monitored his Gmail account, according to new exhibits unsealed this week and disclosed by The Hill
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“Where, as here, the government seeks such contents through a search warrant, no notice to the subscriber or customer of the e-mail account is statutorily required or necessary,” Machen wrote in a June 2010 motion. “Thus, this court's indication on the face of the warrant that delayed notice of 30 days to the customer and subscriber was permissible was unnecessary.”
Machen, through another request granted by the court, stopped Google from telling Rosen that Justice was spying on his e-mail account, the Hill reports.
The prosecutor had demanded to see all of Rosen’s emails — including deleted messages, emails in his trash folder and all attachments sent to and from him.
The original warrant in the Rosen case was signed personally by Attorney General Eric Holder, NBC News reported this week.
Meanwhile, Fox News President Roger Ailes on Thursday blasted Justice for targeting journalists as if they were criminals and said the government's seizure of reporters' emails and phone records would not stand "the test of law."
“The administration’s attempt to intimidate Fox News and its employees will not succeed and their excuses will stand neither the test of law, the test of decency, nor the test of time,” Ailes said. “We will not allow a climate of press intimidation, unseen since the McCarthy era, to frighten any of us away from the truth.”
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President Barack Obama on Thursday asked Holder to review Justice’s guidelines on leak investigations and news organizations. Holder promised a report by July 12, the Hill reports.
Reports of the FBI's tracking of Rosen's movements, phone, and email conversations with a former State Department contractor — Stephen Jin-Woo Kim — followed the disclosure last week that phone records of editors and reporters at The Associated Press had been secretly seized by Justice in another probe of leaked government information.
But unlike the AP reporters, Rosen was named as a "co-conspirator" by FBI officials in the warrant signed by Holder.
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