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. Rosslaw

    I'm still stunned that DOJ treated a Fox "news reporter" as though he really researched and reported the news. What an undeserved compliment for Fox. And Mike, when you can stockpile without limit military level assault weapons, your 2d amendment rights are not gone-got it?

    May 30, 2013 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  2. Pinewalker

    How is it that left leaning MSNBC is out pacing CNN on reporting on all these government scandals?? A baby in a toilet in China deserves a headline over DOJ targeting our journalists, the IRS descrimintaory behavior or 4 Americans dead in an apparent mishandling of security in Benghazi. Anyone can feel for the poor baby but seriously any one of those issues should instead be the headliner. Amazing.

    May 30, 2013 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  3. Just a thought ( or 2 or..)

    "Why would we sit on it?" Really? You just proved why you sat on it (can't say Mr because that is reserved for those that act like male humans) Jacobs. ** if we sit on it then we can say we never saw it and then express public outrage and cause even more problems for the current administration, again. If you really believe in God then why do you behave in such an un-Christian way of bearing false witness?

    May 30, 2013 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  4. ex-american

    Thanks to all of you for supporting my decision to remove myself from a once great country. Though temporary, enjoy the perception of reality you have attempted to create. As with the British, you shall not be permitted to accomplish your goal.

    May 30, 2013 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  5. Publicus

    Reporters had better be darn careful here. They already have a shrinking audience of subscribers/viewers and advertisers. If they lose whatever freedom they have left to report fearlessly on the government, the profession may very well cease to exist altogether... and wouldn't every wanna be dictator just love that outcome. A 'win' for the Obama administrtaion on this will just embolden press intimidation by this and every subsequent administration.
    Launching criminal investigation of the media is similar to FDR trying to pack the Surpeme Court. It is attempt to erode the influence of an essential component of our democracy – a pure power play by the White House..

    May 30, 2013 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  6. Will

    .Everyone knows this is not the first time this aquisition of reporters records and personal contacts has happend, right? Oh I forgot after 5 years it never happend.

    May 30, 2013 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  7. The truth will set you free

    So, let’s assume this is all true. I’ll remain a skeptic. How exactly does this change the testimony that Holder gave saying he did not know anything about targeting news reporters?

    May 30, 2013 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  8. VVVVV

    This story is a lie. I have watched Fox when they admitted they knew. Fox isn't saying they weren't notified.

    May 30, 2013 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  9. MNClownfactory

    Faux Noise – has shown repeatedly their right hand doesnt know what the left hand is doing. I would like to take us all back to the Arab spring where Fox didnt even know they had a reporter/camera man on the scene who had traveled with other coorespondants to a scene of terrorism. They are a shoddy organization with NO journalistic integrity (with the exception of 1-2 persons) and employ opinion shock jocks and call it news.

    I think Im sideing with the DOJ on this one.

    May 30, 2013 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  10. Bad Karma

    In a CNN article on May 30th titled "Inside the hunt for a leaker: State Dept., search warrants and Fox News" it says "The Obama administration had fought for more than two years to keep the Kim and Rosen search warrant affidavits sealed." The DOJ notified News Corp. and Rosen but fought to keep the search warrant secret?!? Rosen was a co-conspirator according to the affadavit, but Holder testified that he never intended on prosecuting any member of the press?!? So many contradictions are coming from the DOJ.

    May 30, 2013 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  11. MNClownfactory

    @ truth will set you free – You are comparing 118 (which I havnt fact checked yet) meetings of general regular meetings that does not ever dig down to the department level operations to a specific email sent about a Legal request to 3 different peoples. Your point is a clear case of apples and oranges.

    May 30, 2013 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  12. Malory Archer


    "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!


    Yeah, except it was TWO certified letters. faux noise claims they have no knowledge of any documents. CNN doesn't divulge whether someone actually signeda receipt for the documents, but all that's legally required is the receipts indicating they were sent, whether the recipient signs for them or they're sent back unclaimed. If the documents WERE signed for, then by whom, and what did they do with them?

    May 30, 2013 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  13. NorCalMojo

    CNN is actually siding with the Justice Department over the rights of journalists?


    Liberalism is dead. It's just blind partisanship now.

    May 30, 2013 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  14. Malory Archer


    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.


    They wanted to give the tighty righties and the "librul" media enough rope to hang themselves, and boy did they ever!

    May 30, 2013 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  15. Retired Army

    Intriguing Images posted @ 8:44 am:

    "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."

    -----------------------------------------------------'re really reaching; ain't ya? your logic, the DoJ sent out 'blank' e-mails and empty certified mail envelopes to Faux Noise so that almost two years later they could claim that they had sent notice of supeonas? you have even the slightest clue of how stupid that sounds???

    May 30, 2013 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  16. rufusvondufus

    This is just more creative lying by the DOJ and Holder. They will create anything necessary to continue the lies they have been telling about everything. Where are the Benghazi survivors, Holder? Why so many WH trips by the IRS director, HOlder? Why so many different stories about everything, Holder?

    May 30, 2013 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  17. MakeThemEatCake

    Tricia, just because something is defined as "classified" does not mean it should not be made public. An example would be the statement by President Nixon during his David Frost interview, that if the President does something it, by definition, is legal. If he made that statement to his staff, it would have been deemed classified since it was a private conversation between the President and his staff. However, Fox News has a history of tweaking (sp) reality for ratings. Also, most of the commentators, ie Hannity, O'Riely, Dobs (sp), do not call themselves reporters but entertainers. So they allow themselves to publically make off the wall statements on a network that defines itself as a news organization. What I find most offensive, from both the adminstration (past and present) and public figures, is the habit of making accusitory/false statements and then, well after the fact, apologizing/correcting that they were either misquoted or their comment was taken out of context. As is soon to be the case here.

    May 30, 2013 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  18. ThinkAgain

    "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?"

    This is Fox in a nutshell: Say you don't suggest the lie and at the same time say there is a lie. Fox's dumb base laps it up, and Fox fabricates yet another sensational "news" story.

    Anything to distract from the FACT that the GOP has NOTHING to offer our country and that all of its policies are PROVEN FAILURES.

    May 30, 2013 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  19. Philip Paradis

    To everyone claiming Fox is lying: please take the time to read this entire article again. There is absolutely no proof of deceit on the part of Fox or News Corporation in this matter, at least not *yet*. The "proof" provided by the DOJ thus far amounts to nothing more than fax logs and certified mail *sender* receipts, but oddly the DOJ has declined to show what was actually sent to Fox, and hasn't been able to come up with delivery receipts on the postal side of things. Also, this excerpt from the article is a real doozy; it should be cause for reflection by anyone who cares about their own freedom of speech: "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." Scary stuff.

    May 30, 2013 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  20. Samantha

    We all know CNN is the left arm of liberals and Fox is the right arm of repub. This doesn't mean that either station is not news. Both stations have opinion shows that lean left or right, but both have journalists.

    May 30, 2013 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  21. Pete

    FOX up to eyeballs again in trouble,just when will they learn!!Found guilty in Britain of purchasing sensitive,classified intel from rogue government employees knowing well ahead if caught FOX Network would feel the full brunt of Britains Parliment and did with fines to Murdoch, jailings of reporters and many resigning because of said investigation!!Don't you know in Britain there's no amendments to protect them for free speech to hide behind as here and guess what if Murdoch and his partner in crime with Prince Talal of Saudi Arabia a supposid financial backer of terrorists wants we can go back to the McCarthy era with trials that black listed reporters and companies calling them traitors and communistic.Is that what you want republicans because that's what you'll get if this free reign of supposid free speech that steals ,sells classified government,defense intel keeps up and guess what treason as long as I know is punishable by two ways,life imprisonment in Leavenworth prison or hanging and either ones fine by me if you're a traitor to America and its values as some media corporations,reporters have been lately and seem arrogent because of their hiding behind an amendment of free speech that wasn't written for them originally at all and they know it!!

    May 30, 2013 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  22. Johnny 5

    ALL mainstream media is bought and paid for. This country is a house of cards.

    May 30, 2013 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  23. cw

    The truth will set you free, only the one you seem to be trying to create. Do you have proof that Obama had anything to do with the IRS scandal? It seems the Justice Dept has proof of Fox's lies. Care to revise your statement?

    May 30, 2013 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  24. The truth will set you free

    Third Eagle.....

    The First Amendment (Amendment I) to the United States Constitution prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances. It was adopted on December 15, 1791, as one of the ten amendments that comprise the Bill of Rights.

    But, I'll assume that you feel that Deep Throat should have been prosecuted along with Bob Woodward

    May 30, 2013 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  25. Area Man

    Who cares? Seriously? Really though. Does this matter, at all?

    May 30, 2013 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
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