May 25th, 2013
07:18 PM ET
5 years 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. gwtheyrn

    FOX being dishonest and taking liberties with facts is news to anyone?

    May 25, 2013 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  2. gwtheyrn

    FOX being dishonest and taking grand liberties with the facts surrounding a story? Does anyone in their right mind really think this to be news?

    May 25, 2013 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  3. Ron Perez

    Conspiracy happens...

    May 25, 2013 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  4. Carl

    Forget it – you guys are toast. The chickens are coming home to roost!

    May 25, 2013 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  5. Tom

    Fox News is propaganda and needs to be stopped.

    May 25, 2013 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  6. rgjutro

    Way to go CNN and to focus on the real problem here. Thanks for the spin mate, because that's exactly more of what this country needs FFS. If that was true, why didn't AG Holden say that during his hearings, which would have saved him a lot of heartache. Instead he lied about investigating reporters, when in fact he signed the Rosen subpoena. Every news agency has their spin, but man alive, this is getting out of control on both sides.

    May 25, 2013 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  7. Not suprising

    Anyone suprised that Fox News was not concerned with reality?

    May 25, 2013 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  8. JD

    Fox caught in a lie?

    May 25, 2013 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  9. jason andrew

    GOOD!!! now we can hopefully take down that scam of a network "FOX NEWS"....

    May 25, 2013 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  10. OK_Move_On

    Hasn't House Republicans DEMANDed for sometime now the DOJ do something about sensitive leaks to the press? Then they pretended SHOCK when the DOJ proceeded to follow through and do what they, those house republicans, asked of them?

    May 25, 2013 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  11. texasnotea

    Oh my! Now fox news will have to answer to somebody. Are they behind all the false accusations? Did Fox set the whole thing up? Won't this be fun.

    May 25, 2013 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  12. vidal808

    Hehehe – Faux news of course...... Figures!

    May 25, 2013 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  13. asm_ith

    Fox's claim of only learning about the subpoenas recently are strictly so that they maximize their faux outrage at the Obama administration. Lying is not unusual for a Murdoch organization.

    May 25, 2013 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  14. Robert

    Unnamed sources? This will be more credible when those sources show their faces and their evidence. Fox needs to address this allegation as well, still they aren't the ones who tapped reporters phone lines, nor read their personal email.

    May 25, 2013 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  15. king

    i thought fox news said they just found out about this. when will this right winged news show be held to a certain standard, they throw mud and dirt like its one of their right winged radio stations and no one seems to care. i thought they were a legitimate news source that has educatcy, morals and setting standards for the next generations of journalist. its amazing how this news source always jumping on the president case for not being educate, yet they see no reason of reporting facts, which is the basic premise of a journalist. when will they ever get back to a reliable news source and not some right winged propaganda machine, who push enewindow lies, misinformation and witch hunts. msnbc is geared left, but at least they push facts over perceptions.

    May 25, 2013 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  16. tiesha..for the RECORD

    Shobama the worst prez ever. He sux. Michel sux. Biden sux.

    May 25, 2013 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  17. JD

    There you go! Another incident of foxy news trying to bs readers! It ought to be shut down!

    May 25, 2013 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  18. Frank

    Of course they knew, just as Issa knew about IRS in 2012 and Boehner knew about the Benghazi emails months ago (and likely approved of staff altering them).

    All this spontaneous outrage is a calculated lie and a distraction.

    May 25, 2013 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  19. Jack

    Why does Fox Commentary wait three years ago to complain about this???

    May 25, 2013 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  20. noteasilyswayed

    Both sides are involved in espionage and counter-espionage and will push the envelope or go over the line in order to maintain or increase their power. Let's get rid of all "lifer" politicians in 2014 and send them all a message.

    May 25, 2013 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  21. Bill


    May 25, 2013 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |

    So all this time Fox, and not the president was doing the cover up. That should be a really big pill for the republicans to swallow. And all the rest of the conspiracy theories will fall as well. So much for trying to score political points repubs. Eggs on the face for everyone. Again.

    May 25, 2013 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  23. Tom

    Fox News is a perfect example of hypocricy.

    May 25, 2013 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  24. kmac

    I lay odds there will not be a HofR investigation into the leaking of secret information and espionage now.

    May 25, 2013 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  25. Sid

    Another instance in which the "Fair and Balanced"FOX NEWS IS NEITHER!!!!

    May 25, 2013 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
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