May 29th, 2013
06:11 PM ET
1 year 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. marty

    Give the DOJ a little more time...they're still fabricating the "evidence".

    May 30, 2013 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  2. wacojoe

    The mystery of how the emails and letters were sent somewhere they were never received will be solved at the same time the mystery of how the subpoenas were "misfiled" in the court system is solved. I love a mystery.

    May 30, 2013 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  3. Larry L

    tomasina

    Fox denies getting any word, in any form. Why won't DOJ show their substantiation ? Possibly because it really does NOT exist ? hmmmmm ?
    =========================================
    The DOJ has already provided that proof to CNN and Fox News won't answer the calls. They have the evidence ready to show in court. Those e-mails are in the system and can't really be deleted. You are defending nothing but a witch hunt. Do you believe the person who released highly classified intelligence data should NOT be investigated? Soldiers could lose their lives because of these treasonous acts.

    May 30, 2013 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  4. Junior

    Now I can't believe Fox News would lie about something like this, said nobody ever.

    May 30, 2013 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  5. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    We have PROOF that Iraq never did have WMDs. Current Iraqi deaths as a result of GWB's illegitimate invasion and sectarian civil war that ensued as a result of the war: 1,455,590 according to "Just Foreign Policy" web page. Its time to subpoena GWB and cabinet and their republican accomplices and try them for war crimes against humanity. After 70 years, Nazi war criminals are still being brought to justice for their heinous crimes against humanity. GWB and his accomplices are next because history will never ever forget their war crimes.

    May 30, 2013 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  6. realtexas

    Someone is surprised that now there is proof they were notified, FOX has not responded? They will treat this like everything else they've lied and exagerated about, they'll just ignore the proof and keep telling their lie. Sad thing is, their followers willdo the same thing. If there were pictures of DOJ handing them the notice and audio of them discussing it, they would still deny or ignore.

    May 30, 2013 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  7. Wow

    Looks like Fox News is lying.

    May 30, 2013 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  8. happynurse

    fox "news" is a joke...sometimes i put it on when i need a good laugh. Everyone should know they went to court to uphold their first amnedment rights, which they intepreted as the right to lie or distort the truth on their "NEWS "shows. Guess you have to give them credit for being honest about that anyways

    May 30, 2013 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  9. wm Scot

    It is time that they go after the treasonous Fox News for the blatant lies and distortion of the truth !
    This time they have them leaking classified documents that could hurt our country. Bring it out DOJ show us what they have been doing !

    May 30, 2013 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  10. ma

    is anyone surprised that Fox is lying?? That is what they do for living. Lies, lies... all day long.

    May 30, 2013 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  11. Dan G

    Typing a letter and doing the paperwork (internally) for a certified letter doesn't mean someone didn't immediately put it back in someone's desk without mailing it, nor does it prevent someone from making up the same information at a later date and claim they sent it out (personally have seen it done before by a government agency in order to claim they had notified someone on an unrelated matter).

    May 30, 2013 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  12. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    You have False News tampering with classified information regarding nuclear weapons and teapublicans blocking the nomination of Chuck Hagel for Defense Secretary and John Brennan for CIA Director, all while we're still fighting a war in Afghanistan and combating global terrorism. Worst yet, all this political obstruction came at a time when North Korea was threatening America with a preemptive nuclear strike. let's face it, the GOPT should be removed from our government by force abd tried for treason and conspiracy to destroy our country.

    May 30, 2013 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  13. BLE7481

    "The official did not show the messages sent to Jacobs."

    Full disclosure is a pesky annoyance, especially when partial disclosure is enough to get the story written the way you want.

    May 30, 2013 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  14. Brad

    Fox and News is an oxymoron!

    May 30, 2013 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  15. Pander Bear

    Wait, wait, wait. You mean to say that Fox News isn't being honest?!? But how can that be?!?!? *rolls eyes*

    May 30, 2013 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  16. cedar rapids

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

    '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 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. '

    sorry but you need to bark somewhere else, this is the wrong tree.

    May 30, 2013 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  17. Jay

    The part about the registered letter should be very easy to prove. The USPS keeps detailed records on registered and certified mail. It would be very easy to claim sending and showing documentation without actually sending it if you control the mail facility(Governement Mail Room).

    It is easy to spoof sending an email. It would show sending and the text but may have not gone anywhere if the server was not connected at the time to the internet. It is also easy to change the date time stamp on an email by changing the computer date. i.e. it could have been done this week for evidentiary purposes.

    May 30, 2013 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  18. Sarah Reinecke

    DOJ faxed "something" perhaps it was an invitation to the Whitehouse Easter egg hunt, what a joke!

    May 30, 2013 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  19. JamesT

    Good old Fox.

    May 30, 2013 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  20. Sarah Reinecke

    If "something" was faxed than the "something" would still be in their possession!

    May 30, 2013 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  21. marvalea

    Dan G ... certified mail can be tracked. A # is assigned and a report is generated indicating where the letter was dropped off, where it traveled throughout the postal system, when/where it was delivered – and in some instances – who signed for the letter. Emails sent from/received by PC may be erased but it is evident THESE emails were sent ... only a thorough forensic search of the hard drive would reveal whether the emails were received – the DOJ should immediately commence such search! FOX has been caught red-handed in an outright lie. But, it won't matter to FOX followers ... they believe what they want to believe. "Freedom of the press" should not be allowed to prevail over disclosure of classified and/or sensitive information placing our national security and/or armed forces abroad at risk.

    May 30, 2013 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  22. DustyOnes

    "a lawyer for Fox News' parent company".....that will get it lost. They did this so they would not draw attention.

    May 30, 2013 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  23. Fubarack

    DOJ seems just fine at coming up with emails etc when it may help them. But when it goes against them, we know nothing.

    May 30, 2013 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  24. Thomas A. Hawk

    tomasina, DOJ did show their documenation. They have a fax record with a specific time and a registered mail receipt.

    Now, I'll grant that the DOJ should get USPS to produce the registered mail signature. Perhaps that's coming.

    But they do have the fax receipt to Lawrence Jacobs' fax machine. It should be SOP for the senior counsel for a major company to document (copy and save) all faxes to and from any law enforcement agency of proper jurisdiction. If, someone, USDOJ, sent a blank page or a chicken soup recipe, any lawyer, much less someone of his stature, should deal with that.

    In effect, USDOJ has proof and they produced it. If there's a flaw in the proof, Mr. Jacobs should have taken care of it at the time (because any 2nd year law student should know better).

    May 30, 2013 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  25. Ang

    Don't you think that the stompage of Constitutional rights would at least require some sort of hand delivery of a notice? Emails don't quite cut it.

    May 30, 2013 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
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