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. silentcount

    This administration stinks on so many levels. From it's hidden agenda, to its incompetence to its corruptness. All Americans would be so much better off if Romney had won. Shame on the gullible people who voted for Obama.

    May 26, 2013 02:14 am at 2:14 am |
  2. fekt

    wow, more fox mock outrage and manufactured scandals.

    May 26, 2013 02:35 am at 2:35 am |
  3. bassman

    Does anybody think the 'Animal House' cast of characters over at MSNBC would have remained silent if the Bush administration done the same to them?

    May 26, 2013 02:47 am at 2:47 am |
  4. BeverlyNC

    I am not surprised by anything FOX does or says. They have a reputation for dishonesty, intentionally misleading their audience, and being unethical and unreliable. I would have no doubt a reporter connected them could be a leak of national security information. Their entire role is to create conspiracies. They should have had their FCC license pulled years ago.

    May 26, 2013 03:09 am at 3:09 am |
  5. hjc

    So our government is probing news organizations even more than we knew?


    May 26, 2013 03:45 am at 3:45 am |
  6. Jimjones11111

    Fox News – providing false or misleading information to its viewers! I am shocked!

    May 26, 2013 03:47 am at 3:47 am |
  7. bill

    Of couse

    May 26, 2013 03:48 am at 3:48 am |
  8. aka Fern

    Former Defense Secretary Gates is seen in a curious photo on your FunList 19 CIA manipulated famous photos. Check out a doctored photo of Rep. Jackie Spiers CA at Jonestown Massacre in Guyana.

    May 26, 2013 03:51 am at 3:51 am |
  9. aka Fern

    David Letterman' s list of 10 reasons to think your government is spying on you includes " when you cat walks in the house wearing a three- way walkie talkie."

    May 26, 2013 03:57 am at 3:57 am |
  10. Jamie

    Oh please.. I was a diehard CNN watcher.. Skipping over to Fox News anymore. And I WAS a Democrat!

    May 26, 2013 04:41 am at 4:41 am |
  11. kenhbradshaw

    I am trying to understand the point of this article. I think the author is rationalizing the the White House did no wrong because the Fox parent company was aware of the subpoena. Do I have it right?

    May 26, 2013 05:01 am at 5:01 am |
  12. kenhbradshaw

    I am trying to understand the point of this article. I think that the author is trying to say that the White House did not wrong because the Fox parent knew about the subpoena. And that maybe the Fox parent is the complicit one here. Do I have it right?

    May 26, 2013 05:04 am at 5:04 am |
  13. Harleigh Kiffer

    Eric Holder leaks again.

    May 26, 2013 05:36 am at 5:36 am |
  14. Rosario

    Republicans don't care about the truth, they just want to continue to blame the Obama administration at the cost of taxpayer's money and time! The Benghazi scandal that never was!!

    May 26, 2013 05:53 am at 5:53 am |
  15. alkp

    What can you expect from that organization? they have gone beyond the meaning of irresponsable. If there was ever a war with Korea, foxnews and its viewers would be cheering for the enemy just to oppose Obama.

    May 26, 2013 05:54 am at 5:54 am |
  16. krehator

    So Fox was playing dumb just so they could claim another scandal later down the road? Go figure....

    I know their viewers are dumb, but Fox knows exactly what it was doing.

    May 26, 2013 06:05 am at 6:05 am |
  17. Tamara

    The fact that this article is listed first in line once again shows the bias at CNN. CNN should be appalled by the targeting of a journalist but they're already stepping in line with the administration. Whether Fox knew or not does not change the fact that it was done and was an absolute violation of rights. I'm so sick of the media's absolute support of this President – the media are not doing their jobs.

    May 26, 2013 06:11 am at 6:11 am |
  18. 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

    May 26, 2013 06:51 am at 6:51 am |
  19. Zach

    Fox News drumming up controversy when its the one in the wrong? Nah, never! Enjoy the Patriot Act Fox, you helped give it to us.

    May 26, 2013 06:56 am at 6:56 am |
  20. Jim

    Faux News has done more harm to this country than any terrorist organization could have done; they have repeatedly attempted to divide this nation through misinformation promoting hate, fear and racism and other aspects of their far right wing agenda. Their "facts" reported are often events that have been purposely modified to such a degree that, when reported, are turn out to be pure fiction upon detailed examination. They know that they have viewers who, like lemmings of a cliff, will simply believe absolutely everything and anything they report as "fact". If TREASON could be defined through the abuse of the 1st Amendment, Faux News would be tarred and feathered and hung in a Village Square.

    May 26, 2013 06:57 am at 6:57 am |
  21. Realityblowz

    When were they going to notify Fox that they were going through Rosen's parents records too?

    May 26, 2013 07:00 am at 7:00 am |
  22. Marcus Bordelon

    What a story. Lets blame fox news for the subpoena and not telling its listeners that big brother is watching.

    May 26, 2013 07:08 am at 7:08 am |
  23. andrew

    Once again we see how the right wing Faux news service is so full of Bulls**t and yet they continue to cry and whine and accuse all the while they 'KNEW' of the investigation years ago. This is plain and simple deviant and corrupt behavior by this stupid, abusive and corrupt organization. Way to go Faux spews...keep the BS flowing.

    May 26, 2013 07:08 am at 7:08 am |
  24. Truth

    Candy Crowley must have helped write this article.

    May 26, 2013 07:25 am at 7:25 am |
  25. thomase

    Ha! More fake outrage.

    May 26, 2013 07:48 am at 7:48 am |
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