May 25th, 2013
07:18 PM ET
1 year ago

Sources: News Corp long aware of Fox News subpoenas

Updated Monday 5/27 3:00 a.m. ET

(CNN)– The parent company of Fox News was aware years ago that the Justice Department was targeting one of its reporters in a leak investigation, sources said.

One law enforcement source said the Justice Department notified a media organization three years ago of a subpoena for detailed telephone records, and a second told CNN that organization was Fox News.

After that news broke, a Fox News executive said the Justice Department notified Fox's parent company News Corporation of the subpoena in May 2010.  But Fox News itself apparently never got the word.

The subpoena came as the Justice Department was investigating Stephen Kim, a former State Department worker accused of the unauthorized disclosure of sensitive information to James Rosen, a Fox News reporter.

It is standard procedure for Justice Department officials to notify news organizations when they subpoena an outlet or its reporters.

MORE: Choice of Holder to lead leak review questioned

CNN and other media outlets have previously reported a separate Justice Department query into Rosen's e-mails. With the approval of Attorney General Eric Holder, Justice officials obtained a warrant from a federal judge to access Rosen's e-mails.

While Fox News is now acknowledging that the Justice Department notified its parent company about the phone records search, that notice apparently did not include anything about the separate search of Rosen's e-mail.

"In the investigation that led to the indictment of Stephen Kim, the government issued subpoenas for toll records for five phone numbers associated with the media," a law enforcement source told CNN. "Consistent with Department of Justice policies and procedures, the government provided notification of those subpoenas nearly three years ago by certified mail, facsimile and e-mail."

News Corporation spokesman Nathaniel Brown responded Sunday night in a carefully worded statement.

“While we don't take issue with the DOJ's account that they sent a notice to News Corp, we do not have a record of ever having received it,” Brown said.  “We are looking into this matter.”

In a New York Times article, Lawrence A. Jacobs, a former chief legal officer for News Corporation, said he never saw a notification about the phone records.  He left the post in June 2011.

“I would have remembered getting a fax from the Justice Department,” Jacobs told the Times in an interview on Sunday. “These are not the kinds of things that happen every day.”

Fox has said it learned of the warrant for e-mails only recently, and newly released court documents show the government was trying to keep the investigation under seal.  The network did not disclose to its viewers that the phone records had been subpoenaed.

The government's notice did not detail the extent of the investigation, in which the government labeled Rosen a possible co-conspirator. An FBI affidavit used to obtain the warrant for Rosen's e-mails described him as potentially being an "aider and abettor and/or co-conspirator" to the crime of disclosing government secrets.

The Justice Department has come under scrutiny this month as news broke of two government probes into reporters' records. Besides the Rosen case, the Associated Press announced the department had dug into the phone records of its reporters, including work, cell, and home lines.

–CNN's Julie Cannold contributed to this report


Filed under: Fox News • Justice Department
soundoff (277 Responses)
  1. GI Joe

    Discussion of classified information with anyone not authorized to receive/know about it is a prosecutable offense. I've sworn in to Confidential, Secret, Top Secret, and CNWDI. It specifically states divulgence ONLY to persons with a need to know. Reporters do NOT need to know any information that is classified in the last 3 I listed.

    May 26, 2013 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  2. Indy

    Fox news is a threat to national security.

    May 26, 2013 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  3. John Jingle

    Hasn't anyone figured out that ALL THE NEWS MEDIA in this country completely suck? It's not just one, it's every single one of them. All they care about is lining their pockets with the fleece from supporters and morons. They don't report anymore, they only incite, lie and spew rhetoric based on their idiots in charge.

    May 26, 2013 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  4. yogi

    @DC Young
    You should invoke your right to be silent.

    May 26, 2013 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  5. SOS

    Steal US govt secrets, go to jail! Don't care if you are a foreign extremist agency or domestic extremist agency.

    May 26, 2013 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  6. Karlo

    So Fox News break the news, but they knew about this all along...Agenda, Fox News to discredit this Black president...

    May 26, 2013 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  7. Hubbard

    I always watch foxnews for entertainment to as a legit ament news organization.

    May 26, 2013 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  8. Justin

    For all of you supporting Fox and yelling "first ammendment" consider this... DO you also support wikileaks releasing info or Private Manning leaking those secrets to them? It is the same thing! You have the right to free speech but if you are leaking sensitive info that puts our troops or nation in danger then that can be considered treason at its worst.

    May 26, 2013 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  9. labman57

    More faux outrage from the faux journalists and the bombastic, bellicose commentators working for The Rupert.

    May 26, 2013 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  10. Tully

    .....Labor unions that have solidly backed President Obama are splitting with him over ObamaCare - with one calling for "repeal or complete reform" of the president's signature health Car Plan.

    May 26, 2013 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  11. Paolo Buonsenso

    Fox News and their target audience does not have the mental capacity to understand DOJ subpoenas or the fact that the DOJ does not issue them. There is something called a magistrate or judge that must find the government has probable cause to access the accounts or conduct a search. Minor detail I guess

    May 26, 2013 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  12. Anonymous

    "This article is just an attempt at distracting people from the real scandal here."

    That FOX News pretends to be a news organization? That is the real story. Everything else is just propaganda that too many folks on the right buy as truth.

    Hint: Murdock feigns outrage while he was privy to phone bugging buy HIS own journalistics in Britian. Indeed. He paid big dollars for their services. It appears he may have overstepped his boundry in America as well by trying to buy State secrets.

    May 26, 2013 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  13. Reality

    @Indy "Fox news is a threat to national security."

    Yes they are indeed.

    May 26, 2013 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  14. Skarphace

    Back before Benghazi, when Republicans were trying to discredit the current administration by making them look like they were allowing intelligence leaks, they were outraged that the leaks were continuing and demanded that the DoJ crack down and perform a serious investigation into such leaks.

    Then, after those same Republicans find out that the investigation has lead to somebody at Fox News, they balk and try and seem outraged that the DoJ has overstepped its bounds in the investigation that they themselves demanded.

    Gotta love the irony.

    May 26, 2013 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  15. Aaron

    i think tht news agencys like fox care more abbout ratings and political agenda then national security, your freedom of speach stops at my freedom to be safe , selfish idiotic journalism,,,,

    May 26, 2013 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  16. whitepine

    FOX News is anti-American. All day long they do nothing but complain about our President, complain about our government, make fun of politicians, complain about taxes. They are just a negative news organization. Their viewers must be the most depressed group of people in this country.

    May 26, 2013 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  17. roscoe00

    So what if they knew? Doesn't make the intrusion by the government any less outrageous.

    May 26, 2013 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  18. Belle8

    Told to News Corp but not Fox news.

    Sounds just like the IRS targeting was told to the White House counsels office but not the President doesn't it?

    Nobody wins. Everyone loses. You can all stop insulting each other now.

    May 26, 2013 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  19. Jack

    Ignore the corruption at the White house, lets just talk about Fox News.

    May 26, 2013 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  20. Jay

    It is no surprise that Faux News provided partial info about its awareness of the subpoenas. Faux News rarely, if ever, reports the truth!!!

    May 26, 2013 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  21. Mark Willows

    Only the free flow of information is a threat to Washington insiders. They cannot hide their corruption. And to them that is a threat.

    May 26, 2013 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  22. paul

    I hate when an article says "a senior white house official" or "pentagon official" confirmed blah, blah, blah. I have read many of these articles from CNN and many other news sources, but what is concerning about this, is that there are leaks every day to many different reporters and the justice dept is targeting Rosen to shut him up, and scare any sources from talking to a news company who is critical of holder and obama. Suppression of the media.

    May 26, 2013 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  23. Peace

    Fox News are professional liars. They were born liars, they grew up liars and they are continuing to spread their lies none-stop.

    May 26, 2013 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  24. larry

    Even if this is true, it does not change the fact that Holder committed perjury by lying to Congress. This is a good try at diversion, though.

    May 26, 2013 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  25. Jim in Florida

    @Indy – so you think Fox News is a threat to national security. Was it Fox News who slept while Americans were left unprotected and murdered by Al Queda terrorists in Benghazi on 9-11-12?

    Obama lies, Americans die....

    While Indy gleefully drinks the kool aid

    May 26, 2013 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
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