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. Rudy NYC

    Sarah Reinecke

    If "something" was faxed than the "something" would still be in their possession!
    NewsCorp is a publicly traded company, so I would assume that includes Fox News Channel. They would be required by law, Sarbanes-Oxley, to retain accurate records of all business correspondence for the specified time frame. This would include all emails, faxes, letters, and transcripts, or summaries, of formal meetings.

    May 30, 2013 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  2. sambelldom

    fox/nra/kkk is hellbent on fabrication and obfuscation! anything to screen the fact that the gop and their media arm support destruction and have no policies to benefit the country!

    May 30, 2013 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  3. Aaron

    So they sent emails....convenient that they always have emails to back up their claims, but when the emails are against the DOJ, then there is a problem. Sorry Holder...not good enough.

    May 30, 2013 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  4. sassysticks53

    If CNN would spend have the time doing their job of counter weight to the government as they are trying to discredit FOX, perhaps these power grabs and intimidations by the government wouldn't have occurred.

    Discredit Faux News? Fox does a darned good job of that all by themselves! They are a disgrace to journalism – oh, wait, there are no journalists over at Fox, just hate and fear mongers.

    May 30, 2013 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  5. Rudy NYC


    Fox denies getting any word, in any form. Why won't DOJ show their substantiation ? Possibly because it really does NOT exist ? hmmmmm ?
    That does not explain why this past Saturday an exec with NewsCorp, the parent company for Fox, revealed that the DOJ did notify NewsCorp in May 2010. He went on to say that "somehow the message appears to have never reached Fox."

    May 30, 2013 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  6. STLMike

    So, the DOJ shows a faxed cover letter without the actual message, and an email, with the recipients name blacked out but says it was James Rosen but doesn divulge teh contents of the email message either and you all want to say that Fox is lying. I can sent a blank email to anyone and show proof I sent them an email. I can also send a certified letter that has a blank piece of paper in it. I can also send a fax with an accurate coverpage but 10 blank pages. In all cases, I could say I sent something but not prove what I sent. The DOJ has been lying about what it is doing, Holder lied to Congress when he said he had not involvement at all in prosecuting reporters, yet signed off on the warrants for Rosen. And we are supposed to believe the DOJ saying see we sent this but then they refuse to show the actual messages.

    May 30, 2013 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  7. Herchato

    Fox in denial? I'm shocked!

    May 30, 2013 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  8. sofork

    Can't trust the DOJ under Holder.

    May 30, 2013 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  9. Boo

    The Fox "News" people are accusing the DOJ of lying? My response to them...."Pot meet kettle."

    May 30, 2013 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  10. Anonymous

    Snort.....Justice notified Fox, but not CNN, MSN, the WP or NYT?......Yep, swamp land for sale.

    May 30, 2013 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  11. Nhe Mah

    What most are missing regarding this issue is there has been criminal activity at News Corp. Their subsidiary hacked the personal cell phones of people in the UK. Most notably the cell phone of a missing girl that has led to many firings and ongoing criminal prosecutions. To think News Corp is somehow insulated from criminal investigation in light of their activities overseas makes light of the ongoing investigations and the damage people in this corporations employ have caused. Criminal activity in hierarchical organizations begins at the top, but the only way to investigate it is at the bottom. The "shock" at the investigation is wholly contrived and political and has very little to do with reality or the actions of News Corp's upper echelons.

    May 30, 2013 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  12. CrazyHungarian

    Wonderful. Now DOJ has disclosed proof that DOJ broke the First Amendment in their pursuit of journalists. Who are they going to arrest?

    May 30, 2013 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  13. Sivick

    Fox news! because when you think fox, you think trustworthiness! yeah right...

    May 30, 2013 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  14. mjw

    These righties will never stop, and they demean other peopel who don't see things like they do. The were determined to make BO a one term president and since they failed at that, they are going after Eric Holder to force him to quit. I hope he stands his ground and the President sticks with him and show those righties we are no longer intimidated by their hate and malicious attacks. We are here and we are not going anywhere. This too shall pass. There was once a Sarah Palin who was the best thing since slice bread, where is she now? Then came Bachman and the clown show...where are they now? BO is still President!!!!!!

    May 30, 2013 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  15. Adam

    If they had sent out letters about this to inform them they were investigating people why didnt they come out and say that 3-4 weeks ago?? Oh wait takes time to doctor up paperwork and emails , sorry I forgot that..

    May 30, 2013 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  16. JOhn

    @Rudy NYC

    Learn about SOX compliance before you start typing.

    May 30, 2013 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  17. Ellshere

    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.

    Why is everyone so focused on the emails? Probably because it is so easy to claim the emails got lost in cyberspace. There was a hard copy sent by good old snail mail to the attorney. The fact that someone in the attorney's office dropped the ball does not make the government all liars. And no, the officials are under no obligation to show any reporter the content of any of the messages.

    May 30, 2013 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  18. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    Attorney Gen Holder got a warrant to subpoena one individual leaking classified nuclear information and suddenly the right wing media and republicans are on a frenzy to bask the black man. From 2001 to 2007 under GWB's WARRANTLESS NSA Surveillance program, the phone records, phone conservations, emails, web browsing, text messaging and bank transactions of millions of ordinary Americans not linked to any form of terrorism were monitored and stored in a government data base system in violation of their Fourth Amendment rights. And where was the outrage from republicans? O' and by the way, GWB claimed that his WARRANTLESS spy program was justified because it was for national security purposes. Well, welcome to 21st century JIM CROW: different rules for whites ONLY and different rules for blacks ONLY. Gee, only in America. This racist bigoted deceitful shameless democracy of a country doesn't cease to amaze me.

    May 30, 2013 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  19. Brandi

    It's astonishing to me how so many people here are so hell bent on hating Fox NEWS and siding with the DOJ. Sure, right now it is the right wingers that are being targeting. But what happens when you lefties are targeted? Would I have to hear you all cry because you were unfairly targeted for supporting the opposing party, or for having a different opinion? Regardless of an email, top officials came out and admitted that they are targeted conservative groups. Holder signed off on search warrants and God knows what else. And all he and this administration can say is "I DON't KNOW". You all better be careful about what you support, because you never know when the tables are going to turn and you are going to be the one the government sets it target on.

    May 30, 2013 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  20. sbeth1

    Why only tell Fox. Why not tell CNN, MSN, WP, or NYT. Yes indeed.....Swamp land for sale.

    May 30, 2013 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  21. Rudy NYC


    @Rudy NYC

    Learn about SOX compliance before you start typing.
    Why don't you educate us on what I said wrong? Instead of bashing everything without just cause. As far as I'm concerned, you don't know what you're talking about, because you haven't said anything of substance.

    One aspect of SOX compliance is that companies must retain all business related emails. Haven't you ever heard one of those radio ads for "message archivers" before? If you're not saving everything, then you should.

    May 30, 2013 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  22. frank

    fox news was targeted only because they are the ones that have real journalists! the others have clowns that are not doing their job...other than protecting the all mighty one Obama.
    I only see hate from liberals.....when you don't have arguments, that is what you use

    May 30, 2013 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  23. Mensaman

    Last time I checked, a subpoena is hand delivered by an "official," either a bailiff or law enforcement officer or process server.
    What is this nonsense about sending an e-mail? Or a certified letter that FOX receives in the hundreds each day, blind signed by the mail Supervisor.
    Come on CNN. Quit the clowning and tell the Obama Administration you will no longer shill for them.

    May 30, 2013 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  24. Bob Dobalina

    Funny how the DOJ has "proof" when it fancies them.

    May 30, 2013 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  25. Michael Olenick

    CNN is using anonymous sources from the Justice Department to refute claims that the same DOJ abused its authority when investigating anonymous government sources? Seriously!? Get some backbone - realize that they'd quickly throw CNN under the bus too - and force whomever is "leaking" the rebuttals to use their name and department if they want the info out. I'm normally an Obama supporter, I voted for him twice and still think he was the better choice both times. But a broken clock is right twice a day and, from what we've seen so far, Fox called this one correctly. All news reporters, anywhere, should be annoyed by what happened here.

    May 30, 2013 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
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