CNN placed gag order as DOJ Trump searched journalists for emails – fitshopee

President Donald Trump’s Justice Department secured a gag order that prevented senior CNN executives from disclosing the government’s pursuit of journalist Barbara Starr’s email and other documents as part of an investigation into an apparent leak.

According to CNN, the effort began in July last year and was not revealed until Wednesday, when a federal judge unsealed parts of the case. CNN General Counsel David Vigilante explained on air that he was unable to reveal the details of the case, even to Starr herself. She and reporters from the Washington Post and The New York Times were told last month that the government seized their files without their knowledge.

Vigilante described a protracted legal battle that ultimately led the DOJ to agree to much narrower disclosure of cases, after the tens of thousands of people initially wanted over a two-month period in 2017.

Joe Biden White House says it was not told about Justice Department ruling that could lead to defamation case against Donald Trump dismissed

It is still unclear why the government was seeking the records, but the DOJ said last month that Starr was not the target of an investigation. While the government searched for the documents, Starr, their Pentagon correspondent, had reported on North Korea, Syria and Afghanistan.

“We have been completely deprived of our right to defend ourselves,” Vigilante told CNN on Wednesday.

There are fears that Biden’s Justice Department will continue to prosecute cases rather than immediately suspend prosecution of journalists’ cases. After Starr received his letter, CNN’s chief White House correspondent Kaitlan Collins asked Biden about it, and he said the practice was “just, just plain bad.” The White House and the Justice Department announced over the weekend that they would end the practice of subpoenaing journalists’ telephone and electronic recordings as they investigated the leaks.

Vigilante said representatives of the network, as well as The Times and The Post, would meet with Attorney General Merrick Garland on Monday.

While it is not uncommon for media organizations to receive subpoenas to obtain information in court cases, what was particularly unusual in this case was the ability of the Department of Justice to obtain a confidentiality order. This kept the network’s circle of people on top of what was going on with Vigilante and other network lawyers, while CNN chairman Jeff Zucker received limited details, the network reported.

“For a news organization, this is incredibly unusual,” said Vigilante. “This has never happened to us before. “

On Friday, the New York Times reported that although the Trump administration never informed the Times of its prosecution of the cases of four journalists, the Biden administration did, but it imposed a gag order to prevent this newspaper’s best lawyer, David McCraw, to divulge it. to all except a small group of senior executives.

In the Washington Post this week, editor Fred Ryan wrote that “Trump’s actions, and their expansion during the Biden administration, pose a serious threat to our ability as a nation to control powerful officials. With the revelation that the Justice Department secretly obtained telephone and electronic recordings from several news outlets to sniff the identities of journalists’ sources, government employees who would otherwise come forward to reveal wrongdoing are more likely to fear. to be exposed and to suffer reprisals, and therefore to remain silent.

Ryan called for “clear and lasting guarantees to ensure that this brazen violation of the First Amendment rights of all Americans is never repeated.”

Vigilante also called for “certain rules around this” to ensure this does not happen again. He is still not sure what the government was looking for. “Frankly, to this day I don’t know because it was such an opaque process,” he said.

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