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Hi this is breaking news this morning there is a new report from the Washington Post that Fox News chief Washington correspondent James Rosen.
Was investigated by the Justice Department in its effort to find a leak that they believed was occurring in the State Department.
And this time the DOJ was reportedly keeping track of a lot more.
Then just phone records as we heard about so much an AP story.
We are looking into this this morning Brit Hume joins me now fox senior political analyst.
-- out what's your take on what we know about this so far.
Well -- this was a leak investigation it had to do with stories that these that the post reports.
That our colleague James Rosen did.
Back in 2009.
Had to do with North Korea.
That the government claims came from the State Department official.
And the activity that is described in this in this story is the normal activities is what journalists do.
Journalist go to government officials and try to get them to tell them things.
Now at and and the government sometimes investigate to try to find out which official told someone something -- -- supposed to all of that is perfectly normal.
What is unusual in this case Martha is.
That the -- investigation spilled over into a surge through through according -- the story James Rosen our colleague and friend's.
Personal emails and in order to do that Martha they eat -- the -- Justice Department went to a judge to get a subpoena for that.
And the subpoena was issued.
According to the story because the justice -- was alleging.
That the reporter and question our colleague James had engaged possibly in a conspiracy a criminal conspiracy which means -- That the Obama holder Justice Department is now prepared to treat.
The ordinary news gathering activities of reporters trying to seek information from government officials as a possible crime.
I'm not saying it's unprecedented because I don't I can't you know have -- this.
But I can't think of a case in which that's ever happened before and it it kind of takes the whole -- thing and you put casts a new light on that.
Of the attitude of this Justice Department.
Toward the news gathering activities of First Amendment protected organization.
It sure does because the investigator on this -- -- the FBI is quoted as saying that they they are considering.
Our friend in college -- chosen as a possible -- a better and co conspirator -- -- covering a story.
About North Korea saying basically that North Korea was considering doing some nuclear tests as a result of UN sanctions that was the gist of the story that was being.
Covered here that I know in order to get this information according to this important in the Washington Post today.
They went to phone records they went to the security -- analysis to to test you know when.
James and this person Stephen -- -- -- who worked at the State Department.
Comings and goings with security badges and also as you say got to search warrant for personal emails and -- now.
We obviously you look at this in the context of the AP's story brick and I guess everybody when we read that a -- -- that you all where else does Cisco you know how much well here -- -- and -- state hate and maybe we're learning that this morning.
Well perhaps we are now at what I was saying about those things you know with a view where security badge and you -- in another State Department -- keeps a record of that that's not uncommon not true buildings both.
Public and private around the country where they have -- -- that's.
That's unusual they want to look at those records I don't think there's any reason nobody should have been known to do that it does concern a little bit if they're tracking reporters' movements but they probably had a right to do that.
What what is where this crosses it seems to me a clear.
And bright line is when they subpoenaed the phone records on the pretext I would call it a pretext even indeed -- pretense.
That this activity was criminal that that places this administration in the position of saying.
That normal news gathering activities of journalists are possibly come more our criminal that is a little chilly.
It it is chilling and you and you look at reason that they were looking into the State Department official because he attended a briefing that I think about 85 people -- -- and then shortly after that the story.
Came out that was you know I -- confidential briefing and they wanted to to -- that he can understand why they would be as you say looking into.
That State Department official the question as to why would go further than that and you think about the things that we've heard since this AP story broke -- And how much how passionately the president feels about freedom of the press that that's something we've heard you know and I it raises the question.
Lots -- actions words verses -- is and how the administration actually -- -- is when it comes to these issues.
Exactly -- -- there's interest in that the president has -- come out and talked about you know -- to have a shield law to protect journalists in other words he's saying.
You we did issue a lot of protect journalists from us which is truth which is that few leader position -- For for a president of United States to put himself in and and his administration.
The obviously what we're just sort of big tapping into the top of this story and beginning to understand it but.
You know one of the questions that will come mop is is notification because AP is very outraged that they weren't notified they say that this investigation today.
Was over broad and the and the standard as I understand it is that if there's a specific thing that you think is it is.
A threat to the American people that would give me the right to go -- for a search warrant and to do that without notifying the people involved.
It would do we have any idea where we stand on that -- Well we don't know the facts here there's a factual question Martha was -- the AP -- it's important which is that the AP is saying look we went to the administration we -- the story and we said well we're plan to go in this and they said please hold off because you'll queer the whole thing and and you'll and you'll blow the source so they held off.
For a number of days and -- the administration said you know and they -- how -- emissions it will look we're gonna announce it.
On to easier something so please call up and let us announce -- first what they're prepared to announce it the announcement of the sending -- -- reporting what's gonna have the same effect.
Now that does not mean that the -- getting information isn't something that would trouble the administration.
But if this is -- many of us who have been announced themselves.
Then it kind of takes the wind out of the -- of the argument that says this was vital national security secret had to be protected.
And and it was a very severe league if Eric Holder and one of the worst he'd ever seen.
So there's some factual questions that need to be resolved here is exactly what really was going on and what do.
What the actual threat to national security would look it's very clear Martha that the government has -- right -- even a duty to investigate leaks on their side of the divide.
What -- you begin to get into trouble some matters is when they try to get on the other side of the divide where you have.
The constitution protected activities of the press.
Being on the subject of subpoenas and sweeping.
Looks at phone records in people's emails being searched through and so forth that's.
That's a problem quite a different story indeed and we'll continue -- says I -- -- folks will the Washington -- -- while.
Brit thank you so much we'll see an interest.
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