May 29th, 2013
06:11 PM ET
5 years ago

DOJ says e-mails, letter prove it notified Fox of subpoenas

Updated 8:04 p.m. on Wednesday, 5/29

Washington (CNN) – Under fire for seeking records of journalists' communications, government officials pushed back Wednesday against statements from Fox News that it was not notified about government subpoenas to the organization.

On Wednesday a law enforcement official showed CNN paperwork to support Justice's claim that on August 27, 2010 three messages were sent out about the subpoenas and went to both a lawyer for Fox News' parent company, News Corporation, and reporter James Rosen.

The Justice Department subpoenas were for two days of phone records in 2009 during a national security leak investigation. The department said it notified Fox News about seeking toll records for five phone lines but did not tell them about seeking access to Rosen's personal email traffic. When news of the search warrant became public, Fox News released a statement acknowledging Rosen was the reporter described in the affidavit and expressing outrage.

The official said two notifications were sent to Lawrence Jacobs who was the senior counsel for News Corporation. The law enforcement official showed CNN a fax receipt with a time stamp to show something was faxed to Jacobs at precisely 4:09 pm on August 27. In addition, CNN was shown a U.S. Postal Service certified mail receipt indicating a registered letter was sent to Jacobs the same day. The official did not show the messages sent to Jacobs.

CNN was also shown an email to the Fox News reporter sent at 4:20p on August 27th. The reporter's name was blacked out but the official acknowledged it was sent to Rosen. The reporter also was copied on the letter sent to Jacobs. Again, CNN was not shown what message was sent.

The law enforcement official stated that there was no indication that any of the messages did not go through. But the official also did not provide any further proof that the intended parties actually received the communications.

"Nobody has bothered to show me anything," Jacobs told CNN Wednesday. "I am not suggesting anybody is lying. But I have no recollection of anyone receiving anything....Why would I sit on it?"

Jacobs left News Corp in in June 2011 but said he's been in contact with his old company and officials there have said they have searched records and found no messages from Justice Department officials about seeking phone records.

CNN has reached out to Fox for comment on the newly disclosed documents. In the past, Fox has said they were not notified about subpoenas for phone records.

The Justice Department was seeking the information as part of an investigation into who allegedly leaked a classified report on North Korea to Fox in 2009. Stephen Jin-Woo Kim, who was working at the State Department at the time, was later charged with unlawful disclosure of national defense information, a violation of the Espionage Act. He has not gone to trial yet but has pleaded not guilty. Rosen was not charged with a crime.

A second law enforcement official told CNN Tuesday that three notifications had been sent about seeking the phone records. The official stressed the request was limited to toll records and would only show what calls were made from five Fox phone numbers and who called into those numbers.

Earlier this month an affidavit became public showing the government sought e-mail communications between Kim and Rosen. The affidavit suggested the reporter might have broken laws. Rosen's name was not given in the documents, which is common when someone is not charged in a case.

Filed under: Fox News • Justice Department
soundoff (444 Responses)
  1. SirGareth

    Some one is lying here. Mmmmm can't figure out who the liar might be.....that's a tough one isn't it?

    May 30, 2013 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  2. Brad

    Wow, so fox is lying? NO WAYYYYYY!!

    May 30, 2013 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  3. Intriguing Images

    A mailing receipt for a certified letter only proves that the letter was mailed. Without the return receipt showing delivery, there is no proof that Jacobs' office actually received the letter. Plus, certified mail only proves that an envelope was sent. It proves nothing about the contents of that envelope. Try again, DOJ.

    May 30, 2013 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  4. J. Moore

    Is it about notification or is it about destroying the bill of rights. In the big picture, notification is irrelevant.

    May 30, 2013 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  5. IndFL

    Our Country's Security is first in my book, News is not. Leaks need to be plugged and I have no problem with the News services being investigated after the big mess Faux and News Corp did in the UK, who can trust the News anymore?? They pander to an audience by creative fear and panic and most of the time hype headlines that are not even true just to get you. We need to bring back the "truth in reporting" law which Ronal Regan tossed in the garbage during his Presidency. All news organizations with few exceptions report more hype than truth.

    May 30, 2013 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  6. JoeDrager

    So; CNN was showed a Fax receipt that "something" was sent to Fox News. That clears up the whole situation; let's get back to our normal job here at CNN – the job of forwarding White House press releases as our journalistic ware.

    May 30, 2013 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  7. Tom

    I resent the implication that anyone who works for Foxs news is actually a reporter.

    May 30, 2013 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  8. Littlebylittle

    In an age of endless paper trails it would seem a hard copy could be presented to put this to rest. The burden of proof at this time is on the DOJ. Can't trust this bunch. Really, an "off the record" meeting with Holder and the big wigs of paper print doesn't add to "trust us" we are your government. Fishy, fishy smell in Washington as of late!

    May 30, 2013 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  9. JD

    Uh Oh! Fox proven to be lying? How dare they, you know Fox would never lie about anything including Palin, Bush, Gingrich, all their political lies and other trashy reporting they do!

    May 30, 2013 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  10. alohajonny

    Whatever, Holder needs to go and fast.

    May 30, 2013 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  11. wes

    It doesn't matter if Fox was or was not notified. Holder provided false testimony under oath. Hes history, and he should have been gone for fast and furious anyways. Maybe now we can get a descent one. One that wont go after protesters and let the banksters go free. One that wont go after peaceful legal marijuana dispensaries. One that wont give weapons to drug cartels. On and on I could go.

    May 30, 2013 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  12. BCW

    Sure, this will disappoint the GOPs. Go find and hunt another witch to burn – Republicans!

    May 30, 2013 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  13. scieng1

    The issues are still the same as before. There is nothing apparent in the DOJ action that would give any credibility to the idea they were interested about national security, especially since some of those who were actively involved in Fast and Furious are still employed by the DOJ and not in prison for their crimes. This has more of the appearance of a witch hunt to eliminate anyone more loyal to the constitution than to Obama.

    May 30, 2013 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  14. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    Yep. They never let the facts get in the way of what they try to portray as their "Fair and Balanced" coverage of what they consider the truth.

    May 30, 2013 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  15. Trey

    "We sent a letter that said we were doing the investigation. No, you cannot see what we sent, but trust us we sent a letter. Here, see the fax receipt! Why would we lie to you. We wouldn't mislead the press in anyway. Trust us, we're your friends. We've always been open an honest with the press about these things. Remember Benghazi? We told you the truth there. Why won't you believe us when we say the message told them about the investigation."

    May 30, 2013 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  16. Ferret out the BS

    Fox News loves to stir up controversy even if it requires lying and and false reporting. Nothing new to them, Rupert Murdock would love to shape policy in this country even if the truth suffers.

    May 30, 2013 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  17. obamasupporter

    Man who cares about fox news.

    May 30, 2013 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  18. James B.

    FOX "news" makes no effort to tell the truth about anything. It is the GOP propoganda outlet, and nothing more.

    May 30, 2013 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  19. Brian in DC

    Of course the low information voters support this because it is Fox News but the hypocrites would be screaming from the mountaintop if GWB's AG did this to anyone. AG Gonzalez is looking like a saint compared to the hack Holder turned out to be.

    May 30, 2013 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  20. KRQR

    You idiots who are still supporting Holder on this... even if this is true and they alerted Fox, Holder testified under oath that no news organizations were investigated. Now they are saying they sent a fax and a certified letter? A fax? Seriously? Why didn't they send it via pager or telegraph? If you really want to support the government on this, don't be surprised when YOUR emails and private life are subject to search because your kid plays baseball with someone from CNN or another news org..

    May 30, 2013 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  21. Jeron

    When the news first broke, why didn't Holder/DOJ come out and refute the claims immediately that they notified News Corp/Fox News/Rosen beforehand. Why are they beating around the bush now talking with CNN. Even if the DOJ did send letters/faxes to them, shouldn't they CONFIRM that there's acknowledgement of receipt before any action is taken. This is a serious matter and they move forward with monitoring Fox News' phone lines and Rosen's emails without even confirming that they are aware. DOJ is very shady reflecting that of the Obama Administration.

    May 30, 2013 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  22. The truth will set you free

    So Obama says he doesn’t know anything about the IRS scandal even though the head of the department meets with the White house 118 times. Libs response….I’ll accept that

    Fox says they don’t know anything about the Justice Department notification about the subpoena. Libs response…..LIARS!! Fraud! Total outrage!!

    Anyone see a problem here?

    May 30, 2013 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  23. Tricia McMillan

    Anybody who knowingly leaks classified information should be guilty of espionage. Just because you're a member of the press shouldn't give you immunity. Classified material is classified material, regardless of who leaks it; and leaked classified information is detrimental regardless of the source.

    May 30, 2013 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  24. Third Eagle of the Apocalypse

    The public does NOT have the right to know…everything.

    May 30, 2013 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  25. dmosser

    Sending a fax at 4:09 PM on Friday, August 27, 2010, why not send it earlier in the day when there is better chance that someone might look at it? The only confirmation is that a machine received it not a person. Why not send an email with a notification of receipt and it being opened then you have better proof that followed the law.

    With Holder's history and pattern of behavior of not enforcing or following laws or obstructing investigations by Congress I would believe Fox long before Holder!

    May 30, 2013 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
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