The Trump Administration Secretly Seized the Phone Records of 4 New York Times Reporters

Illustration for article titled The Trump Administration Secretly Seized the Phone Records of 4 New York Times Reporters
Photo: Alex Wong (Getty Images)

In an attempt to stop the Titanic-sized leaks coming from inside the White House, the Trump administration, enabled by evil Fred Flintstone’s Department of Justice, secretly seized the phone records of four New York Times reporters.

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According to The Week, “The Biden administration has already informed CNN and The Washington Post that the phone records and email logs of its reporters were secretly obtained last year, a practice that President Biden said is “simply, simply wrong” and will not happen under his administration.”

“Members of the news media have now been notified in every instance” where their records were sought in 2019 and 2020, Justice Department spokesman Anthony Coley said Wednesday.

Trump’s Attorney General William Barr aka evil John Goodman had to sign off on the spying of journalist phone records, which Barr would’ve totally done because he was shady AF.

The Justice Department told the Times it obtained the phone records of four reporters—Matt Apuzzo, Adam Goldman, Eric Lichtblau, and Michael S. Schmidt—from Jan. 14 to April 30, 2017.

“The lineup of reporters and the timing suggested that the leak investigation related to classified information reported in an April 22, 2017, article the four reporters wrote about how James B. Comey, then the FBI director, handled politically charged investigations during the 2016 presidential election,” the New York Times reports.

“Seizing the phone records of journalists profoundly undermines press freedom,” New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet said in a statement, The Week reports. “It threatens to silence the sources we depend on to provide the public with essential information about what the government is doing.”

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The Post and CNN have asked for more information on the government’s secret seizure of their reporter’s records and the Justice Department has declined.

From the Post:

In The Post’s case, the department sought the records of reporters Ellen Nakashima and Greg Miller, and former Post reporter Adam Entous, from April 15, 2017, to July 31, 2017. The letter does not state the purpose of the phone records’ seizure, but toward the end of the time frame mentioned in the letters, those reporters wrote a story about classified U.S. intelligence intercepts indicating that, in 2016, then-Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) had discussed the Trump campaign with Sergey Kislyak, Russia’s ambassador to the United States at the time. Sessions went on to become Trump’s first attorney general.

In CNN’s case, the department sought records of Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr for the two-month period between June 1, 2017, and July 31, 2017. In that period, according to CNN, Starr reported on options the U.S. military had prepared to present to Trump on North Korea, as well as other topics.

Senior Editor @ The Root, boxes outside my weight class, when they go low, you go lower.

DISCUSSION

mooseheadu
ArtistAtLarge

The question is how? How did they obtain those records without warrants?

And if they did have warrants, under what pretenses?