The Obama Justice Department has come under fire over the past week following revelations that investigators secretly seized AP phone records in one leak investigation and accused Fox News chief Washington correspondent James Rosen of possibly being a criminal "co-conspirator" for doing basic reporting in another.
While continuing not to comment on specifics in ongoing investigation, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia issued a statement Wednesday "to correct numerous factual inaccuracies currently being reported in the media about both that case and the ongoing leak investigation involving the AP."
"We did not wiretap the phones of any reporter or news organization," the statement read. "Nor did we monitor or track the phone calls of any reporter's parents. No records were obtained from the computer servers of any news organization."
It's unclear which specific news reports the Attorney's Office is referring to regarding wiretapping. But the fact that the department needs to state outright that it hasn't wiretapped journalists' phones shows the heightened level of anxiety in the press about what kind of tactics investigators may have used in trying to root out leakers.
Fox News reported Tuesday that phone records associated with Rosen's parents' house had been seized.
The full statement, provided to The Huffington Post's Ryan Reilly, is below:
Because the discovery produced in the ongoing prosecution of Stephen Kim is the subject of two protective orders issued by the Court, at this time we cannot comment on the specifics of any discovery material produced to the defense. But to correct numerous factual inaccuracies currently being reported in the media about both that case and the ongoing leak investigation involving the AP, we want to make clear what steps the United States Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia did not take in either investigation. We did not wiretap the phones of any reporter or news organization. Nor did we monitor or track the phone calls of any reporter's parents. No records were obtained from the computer servers of any news organization. We take seriously our obligations to follow all applicable laws, federal regulations, and Department of Justice policies when grand jury subpoenas are issued for phone records of media organizations, and strive to strike the proper balance between the public's interest in the free flow of information and the public's interest in the protection of national security and the effective enforcement of our criminal laws.