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. bspurloc

    foxfax always fail

    May 29, 2013 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  2. James

    Who cares if they told fox. Tell the individual. Second don't charge him with treason no problem accessing the email if a judge approved it. But to charge him for freedom of the press?

    May 29, 2013 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  3. Dave

    Another example of jumping into the deep end without the facts. That is par for the course for Fox and other right wing media.

    May 29, 2013 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm |
  4. MCFx

    Here's an idea! Tap the phone lines (home, office, mobile) and emails of the White House employees. The ones that are responsible for the leaks.

    May 29, 2013 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
  5. rich

    FOX pretty much lies about anything. They don't know if they are or not.

    May 29, 2013 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
  6. shamgar50

    Fox lying? What a shock!

    May 29, 2013 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
  7. Ayah

    Reporters are not law enforcement, active duty service members, policy makers, or consuls/ambassadors. Certainly not the messiahs of other nations. I don't know why they think they are. American freedom of the press only extends as long as American laws aren't being broken.

    May 29, 2013 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  8. Gregory

    FOX News relishes being the victim. Why am I not surprised they can't find the documents?

    May 29, 2013 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  9. Sceptical

    Are we really expected to believe that anyone was actually working at the Justice Department affter 4pm on a Friday in August? Really?

    May 29, 2013 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  10. Rich

    If you knowingly endanger the country's intelligence assets to make headlines, you are not "doing your job as a journalist."

    May 29, 2013 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  11. Big Dongler

    Protect your guy CNN!!! You can do it if you try really hard!

    May 29, 2013 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm |
  12. msmarlene

    So an unnamed law enforcement official showed CNN some e-mails? Who's to say they weren't cobbled together after the fact? The DOJ has done some pretty nefarious things in the recent past.

    May 29, 2013 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  13. Nevis Mn

    Issa needs to start an investigation. But don't hold your breath.

    May 29, 2013 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  14. spike404

    Yep. Very professional way to handle legal issues-email? Gimme a break!

    May 29, 2013 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  15. DMC

    You know, it is sad... Fox news is so corrupt I believe the Feds on this one...

    May 29, 2013 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  16. johnny57

    This goes to show that these reporters are willing to do anything to get their "scoop". It seems ironic that the righteous FOX news network would be involved in compromising our national security. I hope they throw the book at this Rosen fellow. We don't need his kind in Washington D.C. any more.

    May 29, 2013 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  17. ep

    4 hours and no comments..... I guess they are all waiting for FOX's spin?

    May 30, 2013 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  18. mr fizzy

    Down with disease. I'm not sure if faux newz is a virus, bacteria , plasmodium or prion, perhaps all 4.

    May 30, 2013 12:11 am at 12:11 am |
  19. Rogue351

    Flux is not going to own up to knowing anything about this. If they say they didnt get it, even "if" they lie. It puts the Obama administartion into question and they is there main goal. Remember it is not about the truth only the preseption of guilt.

    May 30, 2013 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  20. Billy

    what a crock. Holder knew EVERYTHING, just as he and his tyrannical boss did during fast n furious. These traitors should be drawn and quartered for the FELONIES they have committed. I bet they shiat these "new" emails. Transparency, NOT in the obumma regime!

    May 30, 2013 12:21 am at 12:21 am |
  21. BigD

    Certified letters work.

    May 30, 2013 12:21 am at 12:21 am |
  22. orly

    So fox was trying to protect one of their reporters?

    May 30, 2013 12:24 am at 12:24 am |
  23. scott

    so basically, fox knows as much about these letters as obama knows about the IRS targeting of political enemies, Benghazi, and DOJ targeting of Rosen

    May 30, 2013 12:28 am at 12:28 am |
  24. Robert

    Sad situation. Valerie Plame anyone? State secrets > actual human beings risking their lives for those secrets?

    May 30, 2013 12:37 am at 12:37 am |
  25. Kenny G.

    Who's signature is on the U.S. Postal Service certified mail receipt for the registered letter?

    May 30, 2013 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
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