The Associated Press is reporting that the Obama Administration has acknowledged seizing two months of private telephone records from at least 100 of its journalists in at least four of its centers of operations. “It is unknown whether a judge or a grand jury signed off on the subpoenas,” the organization reports.
The Washington Post provides the following comments from the President of the Associated Press:
“There can be no possible justification for such an overbroad collection of the telephone communications of The Associated Press and its reporters. These records potentially reveal communications with confidential sources across all of the newsgathering activities undertaken by the AP during a two-month period, provide a road map to AP’s newsgathering operations, and disclose information about AP’s activities and operations that the government has no conceivable right to know.
We regard this action by the Department of Justice as a serious interference with AP’s constitutional rights to gather and report the news.”
Were search warrants filed?
Were the phone records used to retaliate against journalists on political reporting?
How can this action be reconciled with the 1st Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of the press?
What legal limits to his powers of search and seizure does Barack Obama comply with any more?
Will Congress investigate Obama?
Will Democrats excuse this use of power?
Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy comments: “The burden is always on the government when they go after private information, especially information regarding the press or its confidential sources. … On the face of it, I am concerned that the government may not have met that burden. I am very troubled by these allegations and want to hear the government’s explanation.”