The Justice Department obtained the phone records for at least five different numbers used by Fox News as part of a leak investigation, the New Yorker revealed on Tuesday. In addition, the magazine reported, the DOJ acquired the records for two different White House lines.
The report, by Ryan Lizza, suggests that the investigation into Fox News journalist James Rosen was much wider than initially known. (Rosen was pursued in connection with a story he wrote about North Korea's nuclear program.) Quoting from court documents, Lizza writes that Ronald Machen, the US Attorney investigating the leak involving Rosen, seized the records for at least thirty different phone lines:
Two of the numbers begin with area code 202 and the exchange 456, which, according to current and former Administration officials, are used exclusively by the White House. (The phone number for the White House switchboard is (202) 456-1414.)
At least five other numbers targeted by the government include the area code 202 and the exchange 824. The phone number for the Fox News Washington bureau, which is publicly available, is (202) 824-0001. Rosen’s work phone number at Fox News begins with the same area code and exchange.
It is the second time in recent weeks that the DOJ has been found to have seized phone records as part of a leak investigation. The department, along with the Obama administration, has been met with stinging criticism for the zealousness and the scale of its probes. The scope of the Fox News subpoenas does not appear to have been as large as that of the DOJ's pursuit of the Associated Press. There, records for at least 20 phone lines were seized. Even so, the revelation will do nothing to weaken the belief of many journalists that the Obama administration has gone too far in its pursuit of leakers.
Read Lizza's full report here. Below, read the court filing detailing the seizure of records.
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