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. Tom1940

    I don't know that calling Foxnews "liars", by claiming they were notified about the James Rosen Subpoena's via emails at this point, is good PR for either the DOJ or Administration. Mending fences with the press, particularly Mainstream Media, that up until now has bent over backwards in keeping Obama and the Administration bouyed up and in fact cheerleading, may now be at an end. Shattered "Rose Colored Glasses" of Mainstream Media Moguls/Reporters/Organizations, may prove to be more damaging to the Administration from here on out, than making war on Conservatives.

    May 30, 2013 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  2. Don't call me Coco

    This article is pretty sterile. The most outrageous thing the DOJ did was label Rosen a co-conspirator, not mentioned. Plus you are going to take the admin at the word, smh. Like the WH doesn't have the resources to re-create a time stamp.

    May 30, 2013 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  3. Sam

    Fox ignored the notifications, they tought that Daddy Bush was coming to their rescue.....

    May 30, 2013 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  4. Patrick

    Why would anyone be surprised that Fox is lying through their teeth. There seems to be a pattern here of the Republicans and their propaganda machine making changes to documents and communications to suit their witch hunt of this administration. They couldn't win in the Ballot box so they are instead resorting to a campaign of smear and dity tricks. I'm just waiting for this whole thing to blow up in their faces. Admit it, Republicans are just not educated enough to pull this off.

    May 30, 2013 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  5. theotherhanddude

    You can't redact the name of the reporter and claim your words are proof as who the reporter is on the email. That's ridiculous! Its clear even here the government isn't providing any proof at all that they had notified Fox of any surveillance of Rosen.

    May 30, 2013 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  6. jack 3

    Fox is a more dependable network than most, that's why they are number one.

    May 30, 2013 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  7. jack 3

    How can anyone knock fox when the other liberal networks helped Obama hide Benghazi by not reporting it right before the election? You folks have the nerve.

    May 30, 2013 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  8. Bob

    Anyone who thinks you should notify them first is a fool. Let me see...Hi we are going to search your records for illegal stuff . Oh Okay. Hey John is the shredder working ok.

    May 30, 2013 11:20 am at 11:20 am |

    This aspect of the story has appeared more often in CNC coverage than the actual news of DoJ targeting journalists. Where should I get my NEWS?

    May 30, 2013 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  10. gfbf

    You poor disgusting liberals. You are attacking Fox News when the government is violating people's constitutional rights. You are intolerant of anything that is not of your ideology. You are the ones that must go!

    May 30, 2013 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  11. The Facts

    When Democrat Leadership huddle in secret meetings to discuss Impeachment.... you know this is beyond damage control. Its about saving the Democrat President and their Power... so Holder is going down. They have to give the public something. Now the only question is.... how bad is it all?? Can Holder simply resign? Or do they have to prosecute Holder?? The Democrat Leadership is discussing that now and trying to figure out what they can do to save their power base.

    But Holder is done for... but can OBAMA last out his term???

    May 30, 2013 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  12. wacojoe

    Just what great secrets were compromised which initiated all the machinations and thrashing about by Holder?

    "Rosen reported in June 2009 that U.S. intelligence officials believed North Korea would conduct more nuclear tests in response to U.N. sanctions."

    That NK was going to test nuclear weapons was a secret? Gimme a break! That our government would have to run roughshod over anyone much less a major press figure, to protect such a non-event is astounding. I can't imagine what our guardians would be willing to do if something really secret like Obama's school transcripts were ever leaked.

    May 30, 2013 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  13. sly

    Mr. Holder – I am proud of the job you are doing to protect National Security secrets and prevent terrorist attacks.

    The media should be ashamed of their lies.

    As a nation, we must defend ourselves againest terrorism, and President Obama and the Attorney General are doing a damn good job!

    May 30, 2013 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  14. Anonymous

    The issue here is the notifications, if delivered and received as alleged by DOJ, were sent 3 months late. Notifications went out in August 2010 for search warrants that were executed in May 2010.

    May 30, 2013 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  15. vincent

    Lies, Lies and Lies. Why do People believe them and what can we do about it?

    May 30, 2013 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  16. Patt

    Then why was the Government – specifically the DOJ officer who decided Rosen was a security threat, arguing with the DC Circuit that the notification to Google to get his emails was the only notification required and that no such notification to either Fox or Rosen was necessary? Seems to me it's just a flat out lie, especially in light of not showing the actual letters INSIDE said envelopes and/or non-redacted documents. All one has to do is read the back and forth regarding the notification requirement argued with the court. Pure BS from the Holder DOJ – as if that's something 'new' under the Obama Administration. ::Groan::

    May 30, 2013 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  17. Jeff

    If the notifications were sent and received as alleged by DOJ, the notifications were three months late. The notifications went out in August 2010 for search warrants that were executed on May 2010. This is based on CNN reporting.

    May 30, 2013 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  18. bczu

    Jack, ABC news is the ones that reported the Benghazi emails. What are you talking about? Disregard the fact the emails were changed by Republicans and then given to ABC....

    May 30, 2013 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  19. bczu

    are the ones...

    May 30, 2013 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  20. wacojoe

    The emails reported here were allegedly sent on a late Friday afternoon months after the fiat accompli result of the magistrate-shopping trip by Holder & Co. This, if it happened, is the equivalent of a Friday Afternoon News Dump. CNN totally failed to mention the timing and relevant dates. What difference does notice three months after the fact make anyway?

    May 30, 2013 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  21. Joe

    Why is it that everytime the DOJ claims to come clean, it releases the "header of a fax page", "pages with names blacked out", etc. The DOJ has no credibility. None.

    May 30, 2013 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  22. Albert911emt

    @jack 3:
    Fox is more dependable? Is that the same Fox that reported for over a year that Obama would lose the 2012 election, because their "unskewed" polls said so? The same Fox that lied, on air, about how Romney would win "by a landslide"?

    May 30, 2013 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  23. Snarky MacFee

    Fox-totally bought info. Government workers (some not all) can be bought like any other person if the price is right. Anyone checking to see if our government is actually tackling the country's issues or are just gonna focus on witch hunts (both sides) from now on. If they dont want to govern, then I would like my money back please.

    May 30, 2013 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  24. Joe

    @JCINPA Unfortunately you have to have several news sources. All of them are so biased that just watching one will warp your opinions by only giving you half the news and sometimes none of it.

    May 30, 2013 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  25. tomasina

    Fox denies getting any word, in any form. Why won't DOJ show their substantiation ? Possibly because it really does NOT exist ? hmmmmm ?

    May 30, 2013 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
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