By Ryan Lizza. The Obama Administration fought to keep a search warrant for James Rosen’s private e-mail account secret, arguing to a federal judge that the government might need to monitor the account for a lengthy period of time.
The new details are revealed in a court filing detailing a back and forth between the Justice Department and the federal judges who oversaw the request to search a Gmail account belonging to Rosen, a reporter for Fox News. A 2009 article Rosen had written about North Korea sparked an investigation; Ronald C. Machen, Jr., the U.S. Attorney who is prosecuting Stephen Jin-Woo Kim, a former State Department adviser who allegedly leaked classified information to Rosen, insisted that the reporter should not be notified of the search and seizure of his e-mails, even after a lengthy delay.
E-mails, Machen wrote, “are commonly used by subjects or targets of the criminal investigation at issue, and the e-mail evidence derived from those compelled disclosures frequently forms the core of the Government’s evidence supporting criminal charges.”
He argued that disclosure of the search warrant would preclude the government from monitoring the account, should such a step become necessary in the investigation. Machen added that “some investigations are continued for many years because, while the evidence is not yet sufficient to bring charges, it is sufficient to have identified criminal subjects and/or criminal activity serious enough to justify continuation of the investigation.”
Machen insisted the investigation would be compromised if Rosen was informed of the warrant, and also asked the court to order Google not to notify Rosen that the company had handed over Rosen’s e-mails to the government. Rosen, according to recent reports, did not learn that the government seized his e-mail records until it was reported in the Washington Post last week. Read more from this story HERE.
US attorney, Obama ally takes heat for handling of leak probes
By Fox News. While Attorney General Eric Holder is taking heat for his department’s seizure of reporter records, the U.S. attorney who is personally overseeing those investigations is himself starting to face complaints that he’s gone too far in pursuing leaks.
Ronald Machen Jr., the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, was nominated by President Obama in 2009 and now runs the biggest federal prosecutor office in the country. His hundreds of attorneys handle everything from gang violence to corruption.
But in recent years, leak investigations have become a hallmark of his portfolio. And his dogged pursuit of the squeaky wheels in government has led him into the tenuous — and some say unprecedented — territory of lumping in leakers with journalists.
“What’s astonishing here is that never before has the government argued that newsgathering — in this case, asking a source to provide sensitive information — is itself illegal,” Gabe Rottman, legislative counsel at the American Civil Liberties Union, told FoxNews.com.
Machen was an early and frequent campaign donor to Obama during the 2008 election, giving close to the maximum amount allowed by law. He gave $2,300 in the general election and nearly as much during the primary. Read more from this story HERE.