May 25th, 2013
07:18 PM ET
2 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. Dave Jones

    Did you not know that the Attorney Generals office prevented Fox News from revealing this information since it may have affected the investigation? Do some research before you publish miss-information, your readers do.

    May 25, 2013 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  2. Takalaka

    Fox News lied? No. Way. Stop the presses!

    May 25, 2013 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  3. virgillionaire

    I guess that not telling the whole truth thing cuts both ways

    May 25, 2013 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  4. Econ for dummies

    Nothing will happen. When the Bush Admin did this kind of stuff they got away with it, so why is now going to be any different?

    May 25, 2013 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  5. Brian

    Why not just tell the facts?

    May 25, 2013 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  6. Brian

    Facts are bad?

    May 25, 2013 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  7. shane4756

    Sly like a FOX.

    May 25, 2013 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  8. jimboob

    If it comes from FOX... Well we all know what they stand for.

    May 25, 2013 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  9. PJ

    Hope you run this story again on Tuesday, when people aren't celebrating Memorial Day.
    Faux News – Faux outrage...................I'm not surprised, but it begs the question, who is the liar?
    "Fox has not responded to repeated requests from CNN..............". Good luck, they are still working on their
    "story".

    May 25, 2013 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  10. Joe Namith

    Time for Eric Holder to go to jail.

    May 25, 2013 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  11. Jack

    Fox News is not a news company. It is a lying, deceitful tool of the conservative, republican cause. Fox will do anything to distort the truth against causes that it's owner, rupert murdoch, does not agree with. It is a totally biased news agency that is not even as good a news source as national enquirer, etc.

    May 25, 2013 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  12. Joe Namath

    Time for Eric Holder to go to jail.

    May 25, 2013 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  13. Brian

    Freddie Mac failed! Not Bush!

    May 25, 2013 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  14. Michael Olenick

    Hopefully they'll go after whoever leaked this with the same zeal they went after whomever leaked the report that sparked the investigation.

    Just to clarify – I support Obama. I don't like Fox News. But Eric Holder is an unmitigated disaster who should have been fired long before he came up with his "too big to prosecute" theory, and no later than the day after that. Holder is a disgrace to public office. Going after reporters is bad enough, but doing so while ignoring genuine financial crooks is beyond the pale.

    Eric Holder deserved to lose his job long before this, but now there's no excuse to keep him. Send him back to the job everybody knows he will take the minute he leaves, defending the crooks he's been refusing to prosecute.

    May 25, 2013 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  15. Rich De

    No surprise here.

    May 25, 2013 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    I was wondering how long it would take for the Obama press to come to the rescue. I'm sure it would have been sooner if they weren't so far up obama's ass ...

    May 25, 2013 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  17. donx

    Don't worry CNN.....I'm pretty sure you are okay....wink...wink

    May 25, 2013 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  18. Jack Be Humble

    Newsmakers making news?

    May 25, 2013 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  19. Blaine

    Really? Fox Newa doesn't want to comment? All they have been focusing on is this story!

    May 25, 2013 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  20. The Other Bob

    Oops. Another Teapublican tempest in a teapot.

    May 25, 2013 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  21. gstlab3

    looks like a "fox" was waiting and watching just like an Obama was waiting to catch a dirt bag government type telling the truth on him and his criminal buddies in the doj

    May 25, 2013 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  22. Chad

    Is this article suggesting that it is OK for the justice department to subpeona records from reporters if they disclose it afterwards? Regardless of when Fox News was notified, this is an obvious abuse of authority. The information released seems to show that the agent was not going to notify Fox News before he got the records.

    May 25, 2013 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  23. IvotedforObama

    Figures these GOP shills are liars.

    May 25, 2013 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  24. Mike

    Divide and conquer.

    May 25, 2013 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  25. Michael Smith

    Would anyone outside of an insane asylum expect Roger Ales to be completely aligned with the facts?

    May 25, 2013 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
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