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. Key West Guy

    Ohhh this is getting sweeter......lets just all sit back and see what the OUTRAGED Faux News Channle known as FOX decides to say about these comments........

    May 29, 2013 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  2. Jay

    Sheesh...why would anyone assume this administration is targeting conservative groups....wait...what?

    May 29, 2013 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  3. dscon

    yes CNN, yes........
    andn WHO did you vote for?

    May 29, 2013 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  4. cleareye1

    Fox has become a cancer on this nation. They offer sex to attract viewers then misinform them in a way that is just dangerous.
    They would not recognize the truth, even if Reagan told it to them.

    May 29, 2013 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  5. steve

    Its been never ending drama since Obama has been in office. The nation needs to settle in order for the economy to come back and investors to have the confidence to invest.

    May 29, 2013 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  6. Dr Matrix

    If this was a Republican administration seeking the samething under the Patriot Act or a FISA wiretap would Fox News still be outraged and lie about notification?

    May 29, 2013 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  7. B. Wilson

    Usually I would stand up against government bullying, but we're talking about Fox News here, and they would do anything to get the Obama Admin out of there.

    May 29, 2013 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  8. jkane sfl the gop national disgrace party will be swept out like the trash they are in2014 ?

    This was a national security investagation ,who are you going to believe ,fox news and the gop togeather have no credibility!!!!! Give up and the teaparty tax cheats should have been targated by the irs,unless they started a new religious we don't know about . I don't think a donation to the romney campaign counts. We all know the other tax cheat romney needs the money !!!!

    May 29, 2013 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  9. thekarl

    ..."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."...

    SO; the DOJ admits that they cannot actually prove they notified anybody of anything specific. Why did they not send a registered letter which requires a signature on receipt instead of a certified one? ...or serve the subpoena like they would normally by hand by an agent of the court? Looks like they were setting up plausible deniability which indicates mal intent from the start. I give the DOJ 5 Pinocchio's on this one.

    I am surprised they did not claim that the message was delivered because the carrier pigeon failed to return.

    May 29, 2013 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  10. Wake up People!

    We know, we know, Obama made these magically appear......

    May 29, 2013 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  11. aaron

    When has fox ever let the truth get in the way of a supposedly good story?

    May 29, 2013 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  12. vivian

    Pretty bad when you can believe the government over a news organization.

    May 29, 2013 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  13. John Smyth

    Just show the fax and emails.

    The JD is lacking (at present) any resemblance to credibility.

    May 29, 2013 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  14. jack

    Fox News will try to lie their way out of it. That's all they know how to do. What's really sad is that all the kool aid drinkers that watch Fox will believe it.

    May 29, 2013 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  15. yalibi

    Why am I not surprised that CNN continues this line of reporting. They don't report anything else about the scandals, but when it relates to disparaging Fox, the headline will be somewhere at the top. I love the law enforcement 'sources', the customary CNN informant .... 'sources.' CNN, you're a disgrace.

    May 29, 2013 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  16. Mark

    At the rate this thing is going it will start to become a question of what FOX knew instead. So far I am waiting to see the scandal in this and it is just not apparent.

    May 29, 2013 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  17. AC

    "Fox, you lie."

    May 29, 2013 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  18. annieL

    "Why would I sit on it?" the Fox lawyer asked. I can think of one reason. To set up a scandal to embarrass the Obama administration.

    May 29, 2013 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  19. ncMike

    Fair and balanced – uh, righhhhtttt!

    May 29, 2013 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  20. Bob Brown

    I can fake a "sent" message to anyone I like, especially if I'm allowed to blank out the recipient's address.

    May 29, 2013 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  21. jerrylax

    yeah emails from 2010 when it started in 2009...and no one can find the emails...ahummm

    May 29, 2013 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  22. CSM

    Fox is lying to push their usual sensationalist nonsense. What a shock.

    May 29, 2013 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  23. rosethornne

    Fox lied to cook up a scandal?
    I am shocked.
    Shocked, I tell you.

    May 29, 2013 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  24. S.B. Stein

    Of course Fox News would claim that it didn't get that request. They'd deny many things if it gave a liberal/progressive or Democrat any positive credit. Has there been any independant verification of this e-mail being sent?

    May 29, 2013 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  25. pnm9pnm

    hang em high an throe em over the fences line,.pnm,.

    May 29, 2013 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
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