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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

DOJ Out Of Control Attacking Freedom Of Press!! Targeted 30 WH, Fox News Reporters' Phone Records

By Susan Duclos

Reports on the Obama administrations attack on the free press just keeps on coming, as The New Yorker's Ryan Lizza obtains documents showing that the Justice Department went further than reports showed yesterday in tracking and obtaining the personal emails of Fox News reporter James Rosen, then the update that up to three Fox News staffers were targeted, but now, "lawyers for Justice Department seized phone records from two staffers at the White House and five Fox News reporters, bringing the total to 30 people overall."

In all, Ronald C. Machen, Jr., the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, has seized records associated with over thirty different phone numbers. In the filing that included the new information, the last four digits of each telephone line targeted by the Obama Administration are redacted. Two of the numbers begin with area code 202 and the exchange 456, which, according to current and former Administration officials, are used exclusively by the White House. (The phone number for the White House switchboard is (202) 456-1414.)

At least five other numbers targeted by the government include the area code 202 and the exchange 824. The phone number for the Fox News Washington bureau, which is publicly available, is (202) 824-0001. Rosen’s work phone number at Fox News begins with the same area code and exchange.

William Miller, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney, told The New Yorker this afternoon, “Because that information is sealed, I can’t confirm the owner or subscriber for any of those records.” Asked if the phone numbers of any reporters had been targeted in the Kim investigation, Miller said he could not comment.

But e-mail and phone records were not the only information collected about journalists. According to another document in the case, “the United States has also produced a CD containing voluminous [Department of State] badge records for media personnel for the period March 1, 2009, through September 30, 2009.”

Rosen declined to comment on the case. Asked if the phone numbers of any reporters had been targeted in the Kim investigation, a spokesperson for Fox News said they were not familiar with the new information regarding Fox’s phone records and directed The New Yorker to a statement released yesterday by Michael Clemente, the executive vice-president for News at the cable channel: “We are outraged to learn today that James Rosen was named a criminal co-conspirator for simply doing his job as a reporter. In fact, it is downright chilling. We will unequivocally defend his right to operate as a member of what up until now has always been a free press.”

See the list of phone numbers and the document obtained by Lizza at The New Yorker.

This is on top of the AP phone record seizure scandal already rocking the Obama administration, where 21 phone lines, in five different offices were covered by the overly broad Department of Justice subpoenas. Four of those offices held a total of 100 reporters.

The Obama administration and his Justice Department are completely out of control in their unprecedented widespread attack against America's free press.