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. James

    I can make evidence appear out of thin air too.

    May 29, 2013 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  2. Dick Smegma

    Zero credibility.

    No one believes the lying AG, Eric Holup.

    May 29, 2013 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  3. Solitairedog

    I don't know why the GOP does not seem to realize that truth matters. They are like little kids throwing fits on the playground. It doesn't have to make sense or be true. It simply has to be loud and continuous. It just has to work everyone's last nerve and they count it a success. Later they can claim the proof was made. Nothing has changed.
    The Rovian political model is at the forefront even while it is failing to persuade...and leaves the GOP looking like bitter fools.

    May 29, 2013 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  4. Greenspam

    Fox News – I do not recall. Next question.

    May 29, 2013 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  5. penguin

    I wouldn't believe anything Fox News or News Corp says. If Fox doesn't have any documents showing it and its reporter were subject to a subpoena its because it destroyed the evidence.

    May 29, 2013 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  6. Howard

    Considering how nearly universal the Republican disdain is for the media, they must be gagging at the thought that defending the media might just be their best chance to drum up a scandal that will win them some votes.

    Who woulda thunk it?

    May 29, 2013 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  7. Alpha Deus

    I bet Fox isn't quite so vocal about this fact as they were about this intrusion into the presses freedom..although news corp hacking phones across the uk, bribing public officials in Russia, hacking computers in America against a competitor, using a drone illegally in US skies, etc, etc, etc

    May 29, 2013 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  8. jod

    CNN is botching this story. They've consistently provided confusing and contradictory coverage since the scandal began. The scandal is the following: the DOJ is spying on reporters. Doesn't matter who was informed when: it was an unprecedented occurrence and abuse of power. But in the aftermath CNN has only focused on when or whether FOX was informed. Just a couple of days ago, CNN articles indicated Fox had somehow admitted it was informed? But Fox has denied being informed to date. Then CNN has an article admitting as much today, saying Fox still hasn't acknowledged receiving confirmation from the DOJ? Who cares?!! That's a sideshow. CNN doesn't want to give their competitor any sympathy when the long arm of justice went reaching where it shouldn't have. CNN can't find conservatives, conservative media, or conservative political groups as victims, because their progressive playbook doesn't have a chapter written on that. Wake up CNN!

    May 29, 2013 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  9. Two thumbs

    How vey misguided...why should we care if there was notification or is the fact that it happened. This crosses a very dangerous line that is important to all Americans no matter what their political affiliation. Here is a simple way of keeping it all in perspective...replace Fox News with Washington Post and Rosen with Woodward and Bernstein.

    May 29, 2013 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  10. JackHammer

    Foxs news will do anything to spin the truth against anything it doesn't agree with. So, that means it is not a news agency at all. The news should not spin the truth to it's way of looking at things. Rupert Murdock says what spin goes on all of the news at Fox news. All the news at Fox news is biased toward the conservative point of view. True news is, of course, supposed to be unbiased in it's reporting and give all sides to a story. This is all common knowledge and we all need to pass this info on because Fox news is trying to make gains for the conservative point of view and not trying to give the people objective, unfiltered news.

    May 29, 2013 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  11. M-W-T

    Is there anyone who believes anything that fox news says?????
    I stopped watching them 3 yrs ago.
    Faux News SUCKS

    May 29, 2013 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  12. The Contentious Otter

    So, according to Conservatives, Obama is supposed to know about everything done in every office of the Federal government, including fine details of the daily work routine of every single Federal employee, but if FOX News can't manage to keep track of Justice Department correspondence it's because their one office building in New York City is just too big and bustling a place?

    May 29, 2013 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  13. Stellar17

    If a registered or certified letter was sent, they should have the signature of the recipient in the record. What is strange is that it has taken 3 years for Fox to try and make a scandal out of this and the timing is highly suspect.

    May 29, 2013 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  14. Lee

    Fox News caught lying again trying to embarass the President and his administration. Fox News is the official news source of the Republican/Tea Party. Watch how they "spin' out of this one. Pathetic.

    May 29, 2013 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  15. tayllor1234

    This administration will go down as the most corrupt administration in the history of the United States. Those that support them are just as morally and spiritually corrupt.

    May 29, 2013 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  16. tommy mack

    So the DOJ fallowed the the law, got a subpoena, and did everything right... and FOX is outraged. But when Bush went for illegal warrantles wiretaps, FOX defended it saying "The constitution is not a suicide pact!" and defended it.

    Well done.

    May 29, 2013 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |

    who is spewing lies FOX?

    May 29, 2013 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  18. scottName

    Notice what they were shown had month and day dates. NO YEAR!!!
    Nice try Holder. You are a liar. Plain and simple.
    And for anyone who thinks they can't doctor up false paperwork and e mails try being on the wring side of the DOJ.

    May 29, 2013 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  19. PJ

    Quit now Issa, while you're behind. You will never be ahead.

    May 29, 2013 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  20. Martinque

    Holder lied.

    May 29, 2013 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  21. Texas

    Well now, the boys at Fox sound like they were doing the old GWB/GOP bob and weave on this one. Hipocrits!

    May 29, 2013 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  22. Jeb

    The leakers in this situation jeopardized national security by revealing that we have human intelligence assets inside North Korea.

    May 29, 2013 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  23. Greg C.

    Missing the point; what matters was he lied to Congress and it was clear overreach.

    May 29, 2013 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  24. Name

    Im sure holder is manufacturing proof as we speak

    May 29, 2013 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  25. MurrayW

    The problem is nobody believes the DOJ anymore.

    May 29, 2013 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
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