REPORT: Justice Dept says it followed the rules when it seized reporter’s records


As the most reliable and balanced news aggregation service on the internet, DML News offers the following information published by WASHINGTONEXAMINER.COM:

The Justice Department said it followed proper protocol last year when the FBI secretly seized the communications records of a reporter who was in touch with a former Senate aide, who this week was charged with leaking classified information to the news media.

The New York Times said Thursday the FBI obtained years’ worth of phone and email records of the paper’s reporter, Ali Watkins, as part of its investigation of James Wolfe, who the FBI has accused of lying to authorities and the unauthorized leaking of information belonging to the Senate Intelligence Committee.

The Times said Watkins was informed of the seizure by Justice Department in February, though the Times organization only found out Thursday.

The article goes on to state the following:

Justice Department guidelines state that when private, third-party communication records of reporters are obtained through a subpoena, “the affected member of the news media shall be given reasonable and timely notice of the Attorney General’s determination” before those records are seized.

The guidelines say, however, that the attorney general can bypass prior notification if he or she “determines that, for compelling reasons, such notice would pose a clear and substantial threat to the integrity of the investigation, risk grave harm to national security, or present an imminent risk of death or serious bodily harm.”

A Justice Department official told the Washington Examiner on Friday that the FBI had determined advance notice to Watkins would have jeopardized its investigation.

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