May 29th, 2013
06:11 PM ET
11 months 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. J in Denver

    The documents filed with the courts requested that the warrant be sealed... meaning no notification is to be given because they felt it would affect their ongoing investigation. Why would the DOJ then turn around and inform FOX?

    May 30, 2013 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  2. unc?

    Do you really trust the Justice Department after what you have learned over the past several weeks?

    May 30, 2013 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  3. Roy in NM

    Even if the "notification" was sent what does that have to do with the legality of what was accomplished. DOJ signed off on a at the least irregular and suspect Affadavit and subvsequent subpoena or an FBI agent lied under oath to a judge by incriminating a reporter that they had no plan on ever prosecuting. One or both happened and saying we have a process that requires we send a letter after the fact is simply a red herring to the main facts of the scandal.

    May 30, 2013 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  4. Mary Ann

    Fox News Liies,it always has and it always will.

    May 30, 2013 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  5. Rudy NYC

    Roy in NM

    Even if the "notification" was sent what does that have to do with the legality of what was accomplished
    -----------
    Turn off the right wing noise machine, please. There was nothing illegal about what was done. It would have been illegal had the Democrats been able to pass the Media Shield Law a couple of years ago, but Republicans blocked it.

    May 30, 2013 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  6. Marie Gold

    Interesting that the DOJ did not show the content of the emails. They could have been their blueberry pie recipe. The fact that they sent emails does not prove that they notified FOX – or, that any such notification was actually received.

    May 30, 2013 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  7. Operations

    Oh lord. Who do you trust. Not Fox. Not Holder.

    I'd say it's a draw.

    May 30, 2013 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  8. Roy in NM

    RUDY NYC
    Why do we need a law to gurantee something that is already written in the first ammendment and verified again by a bunch of "lefties" in the pentagon paper case of the 70s? A law is only as good as the peopel who decide to enforce it. In fact the "shield" law you are espousing will list conditions when the federal governement can decide to violate the first ammendment, thus making it easier for them. I maight be right of center but what in my arguemnt was ncorrect? Other than the fact you don't agree with it?

    May 30, 2013 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  9. Anonymous

    @Roy in NM

    RUDY NYC
    Why do we need a law to gurantee something that is already written in the first ammendment and verified again by a bunch of "lefties" in the pentagon paper case of the 70s? A law is only as good as the peopel who decide to enforce it. In fact the "shield" law you are espousing will list conditions when the federal governement can decide to violate the first ammendment, thus making it easier for them. I maight be right of center but what in my arguemnt was ncorrect? Other than the fact you don't agree with it?
    ==================
    You seem to feel the press has a right to seek and release highly classified intelligence data – even when it costs the lives of American Soldiers? Why is that not spying? Why isn't that treason?

    May 30, 2013 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  10. Ghostwriter

    So they produce records that show Fox was notified.....and as if on cue, republicans either:

    Doubt the validity of the records because.....
    Or now shift the argument to the legality of the situation....not knowing that the only thing illegal about this would be if they didn't notify them.......

    May 30, 2013 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  11. Don1499

    The Government said, "The Justice Department subpoenas were for two days of phone records in 2009 during a national security leak investigation." NOT that they wanted full open ended access to the phone and e-mail content, which is what they eventually asked the judge for. So even if Fox was notified, the government lied to them.

    May 30, 2013 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  12. KP

    Really....Fox News always lies and turns the facts. Nothing new.

    May 31, 2013 12:36 am at 12:36 am |
  13. Liberal Sense (Or lack thereof)

    This administration keeps digging the hole deeper and deeper.

    May 31, 2013 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  14. Liberal Sense (Or lack thereof)

    DOJ is as corrupt as any organization ever has been.

    May 31, 2013 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  15. Liberal Sense (Or lack thereof)

    NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) – Mayor Bloomberg called medical marijuana a scam on his WOR radio show on Friday.
    ----
    This is how crazy liberals really are.

    May 31, 2013 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  16. jboh

    Now that TEA/GOP obstructionism has been exposed as the partisan hackery it is, the night Obama was sworn in TEA/GOP thugs got together and planned obstruction by investigation of false accusations. Long past time to flush the TEA pot. Can't wait for 2014 to throw out the TEA trash.

    May 31, 2013 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  17. Josh

    "You seem to feel the press has a right to seek and release highly classified intelligence data – even when it costs the lives of American Soldiers? Why is that not spying? Why isn't that treason?"

    Because the ones who violated the law are the people who leaked the classified intelligence, not the ones who reported upon it. Even Holder claimed that to be the case, which makes him signing off upon a subpoena basically calling the reporter a coconspirator funny. The only reason he even did it was to fool the third judge he asked into signing off upon his witch hunt.

    I

    May 31, 2013 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  18. Norma Vessels

    When a reporter reports information to his newspaper, knowing it is classified information that he/she got 'under the table', then that reporter, as well as the informant has committed treason.

    May 31, 2013 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  19. Sj

    Funny thing..The GOP senators got up on the floor of the Senate back then before all this, and DEMANDED that leaks of classified information be investigated. When it is, and it turns out to be Fox, then then they go off on the DOJ for doing what they asked. Sounds like a set up to me.

    June 1, 2013 01:06 am at 1:06 am |
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