May 29th, 2013
06:11 PM ET
2 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. MrCampfires

    I've lost faith that the Obama administration, in particular the DOJ and Holder, can tell the about anything.

    May 29, 2013 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  2. Liberalism RequiresTyranny

    CNN never passes up a chance to demonstrate incompetence.

    CNN allegedly saw the perp's "evidence" that it sent something, but what is not even claimed.

    At the same time, CNN can't even quote Fox or a Fox representative. Instead, we get CNN's "translation" of what Fox did or didn't say.

    Nice job, super sleuths.

    May 29, 2013 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  3. Yakobi

    So what? Fox only ever said they didn't have a record of it; they didn't say it was never sent.

    May 29, 2013 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  4. nevada39

    OMG!! Fox news ignore facts...say it ain't so....

    May 29, 2013 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  5. T

    ............FOX.........................truth optional

    May 29, 2013 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  6. VietnamVet71

    Where's the smoking gun???

    May 29, 2013 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  7. r00t4rd3d

    When are Americans going to put the federal government in check?

    May 29, 2013 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  8. BobJackson

    Wait – what? Fox News doesn't always tell the whole story? I'm so disillusioned.

    May 29, 2013 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  9. Francisco Decastro

    why is this important?

    May 29, 2013 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  10. groinksan

    Let's go over the basics of SMTP/POP email... In short, emails are the most unreliable form of message delivery. Even if you mark an email to request a receipt email, most people will program their email programs not to send out these receipts. This is the most popular method of farming email addresses by spammers. Spammers will collect the email addresses of those who sent received receipts, and sell them to other spammers. In other words, there is no method in which electronic messages between any two heterogeneous systems can prove that one system did receive another system's message. None whatsoever! So, the Justice Department cannot prove that the recipient actually received the email and opened it. The only thing left then is the certified mail receipt for the letter. In this article, it only mentioned the "U.S. Postal Service certified mail receipt indicating a registered letter was sent to Jacobs the same day." But that's the thing – it only indicates that the letter was sent. What I'm looking for is that green postcard with the post office seal. The post office worker rips the postcard off the package, and then mails this back to the sender. Even of the Justice Dept. has this postcard, it still does not prove that Fox News received it. It only proves that News Corp received it. It is like having a registered letter being mailed to Universal, when it is meant to be read by NBC. Fox News has a huge building right in the middle of New York City. If there was an due diligence in this whole process, the letter should have been mailed there. In all, the Justice Department claims that it did this and that, but did not have the due diligence to see the whole delivery process through.

    May 29, 2013 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  11. Dylan

    Gee imagine that. FOX News lying. haha

    May 29, 2013 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  12. mickey

    when did they have this proof yesterday or this morning.

    May 29, 2013 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  13. Rick McDaniel

    No.......it just proves the DOJ is incompetent.

    May 29, 2013 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  14. john

    I wish repubs were this concerned when their boy dubya's justice department was illegally wiretapping millions of outbound US calls without a court order violating the 4th amendment of our Constitution do you know what that is tea baggers?

    May 29, 2013 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  15. GOP = Greed Over People

    What no scandal, only faux outrage from Faux News?

    Oh, my bad, I see there was proof that Fox was served, in the form of a certified mail receipt?

    Obviously, it a post office conspiracy and the "Kenyan socialist" is behind it.

    Let the impeachment proceedings begin!

    May 29, 2013 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  16. Jewels

    Anything involved with Rupert Murdoch is likely to be shady activity....

    May 29, 2013 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  17. Anonymous

    Faux News never misreports anything!

    May 29, 2013 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  18. Indiana Voter

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

    So, basically CNN still has nothing to show that it was an actual letter pertaining to a notification about Rosen being investigated? How do we know those time stamps are not about something else completely? It would be nice if the Justice Department would just release everything all at once, instead of releasing it in bits and pieces, leading to more doubt and more questions.

    May 29, 2013 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  19. steve

    Rupert Murdoch's organizations all have two things in common, right wing bias and telling falsehoods.

    May 29, 2013 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  20. Norm

    Wow... CNN just can stop licking the Administrations boots can they? Just look! A black and white with a time and everything!! How about this as a concept: DOJ shouldn't be subpoenaing a journalist records. EVER. FOR ANY REASON! But, of course, since its Obama doing the snooping its just dandy.

    May 29, 2013 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  21. thawsdba@yahoo.com

    Imagine that. Oh well, on to the next bit of rage to be had.

    May 29, 2013 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  22. cricket

    What else do you expect from Faux Noise. Scum all!

    May 29, 2013 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  23. blakenaustin

    Proof has already been provided that the Obama administration has lied and deceived in every one of the scandals that have surfaced in the past two years. It is time for heads to roll - Obama, Hillary Clinton, Holder, Napolitano, Rice, Carney, ... Enough lies. Enough deception. Enough cover-ups. Enough criminal activity. Build a new federal prison if needed to house these lowlifes.

    May 29, 2013 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  24. dadguy

    notified of the Rosen subpoena, yes. Notified the whole company was being bugged, NO.

    May 29, 2013 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  25. kmac

    There should be an investigation hold the Fox people accountable on this one. Deport Murdock and seize his assests.

    May 29, 2013 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
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