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. Frank

    are you really going to do this JJ ? Are you going to spin a web of lies to cover up for the actions of Eric Holder …?
    Just so you know little boy you are signing a blank check that will let this and any other president who ever wins (or steals ) an election target and destroy anyone they chose RE:
    Eric Holder (or any other high level DOJ / white house staff etc) can e-mail secret / sensitive / compartmentalized information to you (to anyone) and then charge you with a crime that carries a sentence of DEATH you can see this is unlimited power and as I can see you want to see this become the norm for all future generations ...sad that you hate yourself so much that you can only ever see a world where everyone should suffer like you do every day when all you would ever need to do is stop hating yourself !

    May 26, 2013 07:56 am at 7:56 am |
  2. Marsum

    So what if Fox knew about the subpoenas 3 years ago. They should never have been issued. Rosen was just doing his job as a JOURNALIST, which most of you have forgotten how to do. There was no national security deal with this gun running fiasco. The "government secrets" he disclosed was news that the American people deserved to know about and Rosen was the only reporter who went after the TRUTH!

    May 26, 2013 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
  3. Bobby

    Imagine that...the government not calling up Fox News and tell them of their investigation of a conspirator...

    May 26, 2013 08:02 am at 8:02 am |
  4. Larry

    Now there is a surprise – Fox News leaking govt secrets for their own Obama bashing, right wing, agenda. Really, a surprise, not today:) Hope their Reposter (and I use that word loosely because we know Fox News has no true reporters) ends up in prison – go get them Holder!!

    May 26, 2013 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
  5. Rick McDaniel

    The trouble with governments, especially corrupt ones like we have now, is that they can label anything "secret", whether it really is, or not.

    May 26, 2013 08:13 am at 8:13 am |
  6. actionjacks7

    Rosen is a Jew. That means he will give our secret information to Israel. All Jews are Israeli Firsters.

    May 26, 2013 08:17 am at 8:17 am |
  7. paul

    Government attacking a news company who is critical of the them. Sweet.

    May 26, 2013 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  8. NameAngelo

    Fox Is a troubled news provider it goes very deep why they attach this administration. There reports are just clones stating fox few points to keep there jobs. Back in the day only facts were stated to the public not add on comments.

    May 26, 2013 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  9. josey

    Wonder if this will air on Faux & Frightwing radio.......ha!

    May 26, 2013 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  10. jerryab

    No one from Fox News knows of this–and neither do their viewers–hence no conservative responses.

    May 26, 2013 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  11. MagicPanties

    "...The network [Fox News] did not disclose to its viewers that the phone records had been subpoenaed..."

    Because it just wouldn't be "fair and balanced" to provide all the facts, now would it?

    May 26, 2013 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  12. John

    I imagine I won't be reading this on Fox News.

    May 26, 2013 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  13. jay

    Finally, the government knows a subversive organization when they see one.

    May 26, 2013 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  14. ed dugan

    This entire thing has been blown way out of proportion by Fox, a news network that shouldn't even have a license. It's 100 political and doesn't have a thing to do with freedom of the press. That is if you can dignify Fox by calling it the press. It is nothing but a propoganda factory for the Republican Party.

    May 26, 2013 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  15. Patrick

    So the Justice department is leaking info to try to help its image and CNN is there to lap it up. Please keep digging reporters, there is more to the story than what is on the surface. Good reporting is not just sitting around and relying on snitches and leakers to come to you. It's a duplicitous game. Someone knocking on your door is using you as much as you are using them. Go out there and investigate the stories. Find the people reluctant or scared to talk and get to the bottom of it. Don't concentrate on the back stories or sideshow but go out there and find out the why. The why is the real story almost every time. If you undercover why things are done then you can understand the motivation behind the actions.

    May 26, 2013 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  16. censored

    What is new? Old hat.Get on with it.

    May 26, 2013 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  17. Grahame Rhodes

    How soon you lunatics forget Valerie Plame

    May 26, 2013 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  18. boston1c

    FOX – Enough said...

    May 26, 2013 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  19. Kalen

    So, if "Fox News itself apparently never got the word," as this article states, why does the headline say Fox News knew of the subpoena? This is very misleading.

    May 26, 2013 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  20. Tom

    Let's have an investigation. When did News Corp. learn of this investigation? Why wasn't FOX notified? Is there any possible way to blame it on Hillary Clinton? This sounds like another example of the phony outrage machine selectively using information to paint the Obama administration in a negative light. Funny how all these "scandals" seem to be unraveling as we move past the knee-jerk frenzy and start to look at the actual facts.

    May 26, 2013 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  21. plain&simple

    News is only news when it's happening to someone else. Just ask Fox News. What's up with them and telephones anyway?

    May 26, 2013 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  22. Bismarck

    Let's see how the "no spin" Bill O'Really spins blame on President Obama. FOX (Fascist Xenophobic Network)

    May 26, 2013 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  23. liberal disease

    the only criminals here are Obama/Holder

    May 26, 2013 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  24. Dee

    The media has been all over the DOJ for not notifying Fox News about the leak investigation. Now it comes out that the DOJ did in fact notify Fox's parent company and a federal judge subpoened the e-mails. This is exactly why our illustrious media should look before they leap.

    May 26, 2013 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  25. jennifer in Houston

    Fox lies once again to it's gullable viewers who once told something will not be confused by the facts...

    May 26, 2013 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
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