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. John Buchner

    Here's hoping that those in the media who have chosen to sidestep the justice departments meetings don't end up with even more egg on their faces

    May 30, 2013 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  2. PeterD

    And CNN wants Obama's face on Mt Rushmore.

    May 30, 2013 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  3. Sniffit

    "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."

    1. Because it's an ongoing investigation/prosecution; and

    2. Because it's much more fun to watch the GOP/Teatrolls paint themselves into the corner where the noose is hanging.

    May 30, 2013 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  4. Sniffit

    "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."

    Sorry, but the presumptions in the courts of law generally all favor the person with the mailing receipt. The burden is now on Fox to prove they did not receive it or that they were mailed an empty envelope. Try again....maybe with a shinier tinfoil hat next time.

    May 30, 2013 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  5. Mark of Tennessee

    FOXNEWS lies so much, you cant tell when they ARE telling the truth

    May 30, 2013 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  6. Sniffit

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

    No. Notification is part of the steps that must be taken, in this instance, to satisfy the requirements of due process, which you are entitled to as a constitutional right. DOJ clearly complied and Faux is yet again fabricating nonsense to help the GOP/Teatrolls in their witch hunt.

    May 30, 2013 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  7. ghostriter

    If notifications were sent via e-mail, it is up to Fox to prove that the e-mail never hit their servers. Easy enough to show. Unless they have something to hide. They did make the accusation. Same with certified mail and fax. Faxes show whether something was received or not. So if none of those indicated that the messages were not received, they were received by someone at Fox.

    it's funny how conservatives will believe the worst about Obama with next to no evidence but won't believe anything bad about a conservative even with mounds of evidence to prove otherwise.

    May 30, 2013 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  8. Anonymous

    If it was ever proven Fox was lying, their audience would be similar to MSNBC's. It's not. They don't. That's why their audience keeps growing larger and larger. "Fox lies!" "Tea Party is racist" "Republicans want to poisen the the water and destroy the planet"

    nonsense. but it sure makes hating conservatives seem rational.

    May 30, 2013 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  9. 2 Km N of G Zero

    I suspect Fox doesn't read ANYTHING sent to it. I mean, they don't even have any of these comment boards for their viewers, why would they want to know what the government is saying, eh?

    May 30, 2013 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  10. Jaimie

    You mean the government for once got it "right" and now they want to show the world? LOL Fool us once shame on you fool us twice shame on us

    May 30, 2013 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  11. soabsurd

    CNN has and continues to provide cover for this administration. Most of the critical stories about this administration have been buried at CNN or go unreported. There is no journalism here just opinions

    May 30, 2013 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  12. Helen Troy

    Just more federal government lies?????

    May 30, 2013 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  13. Woody

    There seems to be some serious bias from most of the comments above. What happened to the critics of the Patriot Act for infringing on our privacy rights (even for those KNOWN to be our enemies)? Some say, "Hey, it's espionage!" yet where were these voices during the wikileaks, GW Bush leaks, Chinese tech leaks, & every other leak that somehow reinforced liberal issues (anti-military, anti-Bush, etc.)? There were dozens made by liberal reporters. And what's up with the, "We're going to stop these leaks! - by looking in your personal emails"? Don't you have to be a known terrorist, et al., to have your Constitutional rights waived?

    May 30, 2013 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  14. Pat

    This has nothing to do with notifying Fox about it. DoJ shouldn't have requested the subpenas in the first place. Anyone could has speculated that NK was going to respond with a Nuclear test. What better time for Kin Jong Un to prove he's just as crazy as his father was. I can't even count how many times I've seen classified info on CNN, how come no one from CNN was wiretapped? It's because CNN get's their classified info from "Offical Channels" AKA the White House.

    May 30, 2013 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  15. Daggash

    i am a devout democrat; nonetheless Eric Holder needs to GO!

    May 30, 2013 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  16. scarf

    So, have Issa subpoena all DOJ records for the relevant date and time. Pretty easy to see what was sent by the DOJ. And the DOJ isn't responsible for seeing that what they send is received by the right person. I have administratve asst's who I have little confidence in (and who I can't get rid of) messing up faxes and reports I'm supposed to receive.

    May 30, 2013 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  17. lmc3

    Did the recipient have to sign for the registered letter? Does the receipt show the signature of the person receiving the registered letter? Were any of the registered letters sent to Mr. Rosen? Why are the answers to these simple questions not reported? So far, all I see is a dance with the truth. Showing and/or reporting that a fax or letter was sent to an some attorney without showing the content of the letter means nothing.

    May 30, 2013 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  18. Frank

    Here we go. CNN, MSNBC, NBCNEWS all banding together to protect the communists who are blatantly using the power of the government to literally attack Americans for wanting to voice their opinions.

    May 30, 2013 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  19. Frank

    With constant attacks from the radical liberal left, I can now see why they haven't been able to keep ammo on the shelves coast to coast for over a year and counting. Looks like true Americans have had enough of the liberal communists and their relentless attacks on the constitution and our freedoms.

    May 30, 2013 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  20. christin4USA

    Show me something that DOES NOT HAVE ANY information BLACKED OUT. We can no longer trust this administration! They LIE, COVER-UP, LIE, COVER-UP and LIE to AMERICA, on a DAILY BASIS! So, as far as I'm concerned, the emails are irrelevant.

    May 30, 2013 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  21. PeterD

    CNN is still supporting DOJ. Wow.

    May 30, 2013 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  22. TSB8C

    So after Holder testified to Congress on May 15 that he knew nothing of the search warrant to go after Rosen, the DOJ has now acknowledged and confirmed that he personally approved seeking the warrant for the reporter the DOJ now confirms they knew had not committed any crime and whose actions are protected under the First Amendment. Holder lied to Congress and has now admitted it. Didn't Nixon AG, John Mitchell, go to federal prison for the same thing?

    May 30, 2013 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  23. wacojoe

    August 27, 2010 was Friday and the time was 4:08 in the late afternoon. This was the equivalent of a Friday Afternoon dump, if it ,indeed, happened at all.

    How does that date coincide with any of the three various judge-shopping submissions of the warrents/subpoenas, CNN? We're the alleged notices before the judges had them submitted, or not? This should not be something left to the reader to research.

    May 30, 2013 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  24. DJ Reality

    Fox News lies? Boy I did not see that coming. Like the sun rise. I didn't see that coming either.

    May 30, 2013 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  25. John

    Regardless of anyone's political stripes, this is all very sad. As a kid I saw the shame brought on the Nixon WH and it took the country a long time to heal from that. Here we are again and people are certainly going to jail and at a minimum we will probably witness the historic removal of a AG...not pretty and no joy should be taken in it

    May 30, 2013 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
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