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. loops808

    These are just receipts of something being sent. There is no indication of what was contained in the messages. Why not show the messages?

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

    fixnews lies, whats new!

    May 29, 2013 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  3. Kirsten

    I thought fox didn't know? Lying again. I actually was believing fox but now the evidence shows DOJ was right. Can't trust no one. All poltics. Sick of it.

    May 29, 2013 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  4. pnm9pnm

    i ment flagger,.pnm,.

    May 29, 2013 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  5. Bob

    So who signed for the registered letter? Why all the secrecy? Why does the Justice Department not speak on the record? This whole thing stinks.

    May 29, 2013 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  6. eddhur

    coming to you live from state run TV

    May 29, 2013 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  7. Brian Hartman

    This is getting insane. Why is CNN carrying the Obama administration's water?

    The issue isn't when FOX found out about the subpoenas. The issue is the subpoenas *themselves*, plus the fact that they weren't just for Rosen, but for members of his family, as well.

    May 29, 2013 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  8. MIke S

    The DOJ can say whatever they want. The fact is that all goverment agencies seemed to have a received a mandate to harass conservative groups or any group that opposes this administration politically. While organizations, including news organization friendlier to the administration such as CNN don't get harass at all.

    May 29, 2013 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  9. critic

    Okay, so Fox News lied. Nice to know Fox is consistent in all aspects of its business.

    May 29, 2013 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  10. Joe Plumber

    I can only imaging how many emails and phone calls were hacked during the Bush administration. Didn't hear to much complaining on Fox then. Shocking, right?

    May 29, 2013 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  11. fred

    I don't have a problem with them going after this reporter in this instance. Where are your ethics when you are going to put peoples live's in danger for a so so story. Reporting how North Korea is going to react is not important enough to risk national security. Fox News and any orginization that goes that far should be held responsible. If someone was killed or imprisoned because you had to put out your story, then you should be sued at the least. Doing your job (as you call it ) is not license to risk people's lives. Yeah, our government isn't perfect, but the press sure ain't either. All this fuss from Fox yet look what they did in europe with the email and phone scandal. Quid pro quo? If you guys are going to get leaked classified information and report it then you do it at your own peril as far as I'm concerned. It's not like you were preventing a nuclear war or saving lives. You were actually risking them. Journalists should shoulder some responsibility. Reporting anything you want whenever you want is just as dangerous as infringement on the first amendment.

    May 29, 2013 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  12. Adam

    ...what is this country coming to? IRS targeting conservatives, still no accountability regarding Benghazi, not even a straight answer for that matter, and now a media company that has many conservative hosts is under fire? Can we say "liberal agenda"? I have a good idea, all conservatives move to one area of the country, liberals to the other. Let's see who gets invaded first. You got a population that doesn't believe in defending themselves with guns, so they're unarmed. Many depend on government support so once that government has more takers than givers, its like living on 400 a week, when only 200 a week is being deposited. My religion notwithstanding, I have nothing against homosexuals, good and bad people come from all races, nationalities, creeds, religions, and sexual orientations, but you ask for acceptance, equality, respect, and your way of life to be respected. No problem, I'm fine with you having that, but compromise. You ask for tolerance, you got it, now give a little of what your asking for. Respect Christians beliefs and not call it marrige. What difference does it make? Same laws apply, same benefits and all. IPhone, phone, cell phone, cell, same thing, you want tolerance, show some. I could write forever but I'd need a jackhammer and a tanker truck full of common sense to just tempt a liberal to listen to reason. They're too busy talking about how bad guns are, ignoring how many guns were used to earn them the freedom to talk about why they're bad, seeing as if they were all banned to start with we would be bowing to a tyrant with limited freedoms we are losing by the day. Oh wait, they elected one, might take 2 tankers full of common sense, and maybe when their government is out of money so no support, they have no guns, and an enemy army approaches their door, what you gonna do? Welfare got you nowhere. Baseball bat vs assault rifle, which would you rather have? Our country is slowly being driven towards being broke, already there, look at the deficit, and unarmed. 4 simple ways to rule an empire undisputed. 1. Unarmed citizens can't fight back. 2. Punish your opposition, silence them in media, and if need be, attack their funds. 3. Ignore terrorism if they're the same religion, its a "brotherhood" after all, sweep it under the rug until they can strike on American soil again, well, they did, Boston. And 4. Hope theres an ignorant, needy, uneducated populus that will blindly follow you like they have so many dictators in the past, they're so blinded by what they think is gifts, they have no idea how bad they're being screwed by a tyrant. Well, Mr. Obama, your 4 for 4, guess your not a lame duck afterall.

    May 29, 2013 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  13. Steve

    Typical... Cry out you're the victim when it's not true. Just like Benghazi.

    May 29, 2013 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  14. JayCarneyIsAPuppet

    Interesting how the DOJ can't actually produce what was communicated. Could've been anything.

    May 29, 2013 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  15. KC Yankee

    I trust Fox News for all of my in-depth, unbiased coverage of current events.

    May 29, 2013 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  16. wade

    Who cares if they notified or not. it was wrong to FAKE a judge out lie to him saying the reporter was a co conspirator when they knew that was a lie. Holder and Obama both are a total disgrace!

    May 29, 2013 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  17. BigTBone

    BOOM. The right wing machine just keeps chugging down the track with complete disregard for safety.

    The wheels have come off, the engine is on fire and spewing noxious smoke, the brakes have been disabled and the passengers on this crazy train are deciding to ride on instead of jumping off before it barrels into the station. Why would anyone get on board with a car thief who conducts his hearings in a "shameful" manner?

    I say we elect Holder next. The reaction of a collective republican thrombosis will take care of the looney toon kooks.

    May 29, 2013 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  18. styymy

    Haha...of course Fox has nothing to say now and conveniently can't be reached for comment. Is that REALLY surprising?

    May 29, 2013 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  19. Scott

    I would not trust anything Fox News says about this, particularly if they see an opportunity to position this against the Obama administration.

    May 29, 2013 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  20. 9corona

    I'm curious. Do you get the "Obama Knee pads" when hired or is it required to bring your own.

    May 29, 2013 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  21. Why?

    Why does the DOJ have to justify their actions when there was an obvious leak of classified information? I'm so sick of this 24/7 news, breaking news, exclusives, whatever. I don't want to know certain info, and neither I nor the rest of the world is in a need to know of certain info. And any leaks, speaks or prints of classified info should be investigated and folks prosecuted, period. It's a matter of homeland security.

    May 29, 2013 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  22. Johnny DC

    This administration is a joke. They continuously release "proof" in the hopes that the news headlines will indicate such, and distract the populace from the actual facts of the release.

    "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."

    Holder is praying, rightfully so, that the readers will ignore the fact that he unlawfully tapped the private email of a citizen with complete and utter disregard for due process and fully motivated by politics.

    Sadly – no, despairingly – this will work. The public will perceive this as proof of innocence from the most corrupt AG in US history, and the Obama administration will see another ill-conceived bump in the poll numbers.

    Disgraceful. Shame on the media, shame on this administration, and shame on the public for ultimately falling for it yet again.

    May 29, 2013 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  23. Uncommon sense

    Do you still believe we can teach old privilaged dogs new trick$?

    May 29, 2013 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  24. Charles

    Big surprise. CNN and the Obama administration are teaming up against Fox.

    May 29, 2013 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  25. Robin Jones

    The parties involved can debate who sent what and whether anything was actually delivered, but that's not the main issue. The main issue is why AG Holder told a congressional committee that he did not participate in, and was not aware of, any warrants for access to reporters' phone records and emails, given that it was later confirmed that he participated in the decision to seek one or more of those warrants.

    May 29, 2013 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
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