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Former Attorneys General say Justice Department's AP operation highly unusual ^ | 5/14/2013

Posted on 05/14/2013 1:50:33 PM PDT by RoosterRedux

The Justice Department is obligated to investigate leaks that could endanger national security, but the secret seizure of Associated Press telephone records – called a "massive and unprecedented intrusion" by the news organization – is unusual, according to two former attorneys general.


Mark Corallo, chief spokesman for another Bush attorney general, John Ashcroft, called the secret probe "unprecedented."

"The normal course of business is very narrow and very tailored to a particular individual’s phone records," said Corallo, who served for three years as director of public affairs under Ashcroft. "The idea that they would do two months – grab everything – in several bureaus is truly stunning and disgraceful."

Press organizations also lashed out at the DOJ, claiming their investigation constitutes a gross abuse of the First Amendment.

"I don’t think there’s any justifiable situation, ever, for a subpoena this broad without contacting the organization first," said Gregg Leslie, legal defense director of Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.

Leslie said Nixon-era guidelines for the Attorney General’s Office speak directly to subpoenaing phone records of news organizations. He called them a "well-established body of law."

"You have to try to first negotiate" with the news organization, Leslie said.

Rules published by the Justice Department require that subpoenas of records of news organizations must be personally approved by the attorney general, but it was not known if that happened in this case. The letter notifying AP that its phone records had been obtained through subpoenas was sent Friday by Ronald Machen, the U.S. attorney in Washington.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: specialprosecutor

1 posted on 05/14/2013 1:50:33 PM PDT by RoosterRedux
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Comment #2 Removed by Moderator

To: RoosterRedux

No, no, no, no, no.

I personally heard two co-workers discussing this today...both Obama of ‘em “Holder’s People”. They both asserted this kind of stuff goes on ALL THE TIME and that nothing is different in this case.

I had to grit my teeth and be quiet, as my job could be in jeopardy if I told these two faux intellectuals the truth.

3 posted on 05/14/2013 2:14:18 PM PDT by SoFloFreeper
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To: SoFloFreeper

try the real truth - the quick handoff of these records to a couple interested parties in Moscow and Bejing

4 posted on 05/14/2013 2:31:06 PM PDT by bioqubit
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To: SoFloFreeper

Here’s the odd part of this story, which the media hasn’t discussed. When this story came out via the AP over the terrorist was highly sensitive and the CIA didn’t want it in the public view. The CIA got real insistent on finding out who dropped the secret. They basically demanded that the President pursue the guilty party.

Well...the problem is that it probably wasn’t the CIA guys, and likely a White House player. But to make everyone in the room happy...the President said pursue the guilty party. So a prosecutor did up the request and a judge said sure.

So far, they haven’t said anything about success with this, and I think they are probably shocked at the lack of contact now with AP reporters....everyone in the White House is absolutely quiet and won’t discuss nothing with them. So the bugging really hasn’t done much....except to confirm that the guilty party hasn’t called back.

The piece to this? They need to fix this ASAP, give the info back...say they are sorry, and just plain shut down this mess. If they don’t....a special prosecutor will be required, and he’ll just dig deeper into a bigger mess. Expect this whole thing to be fixed by Monday, and the AP accepts their apology.

5 posted on 05/14/2013 3:10:11 PM PDT by pepsionice
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