May 25, 2013

RYAN LIZZA IN THE NEW YORKER: How Prosecutors Fought to Keep James Rosen’s Warrant Secret.

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. . . . The new details indicate that the government wanted the option to search Rosen’s e-mails repeatedly if the F.B.I. found further evidence implicating the reporter in what prosecutors argued was a conspiracy to commit espionage.

According to recently unsealed documents in the case, the Obama Justice Department sought an extensive amount of information from Rosen’s e-mail account. In addition to Rosen’s correspondence with Kim, the government wanted to know about Rosen’s contacts with other government officials, including “records or information relating to the Author’s communication with any other source or potential source of the information disclosed in the Article.”

The government, which accused Rosen of being an “aider, abettor, and/or co-conspirator” in the Kim case, cast a wide net in its search of Rosen’s e-mail.

Feeling the hope and change yet?