The PJ Tatler

Federal Agents Seize Story Notes from Investigative Reporter's Home

Audrey Hudson is an ace reporter whose work includes exposing terrorist “dry run” tests on US airlines. On the morning of August 6, 2013, federal agents and Maryland State Police officers raided her home in Shady Side, MD. They made off with some of her story notes, notes that included the identifications of some of her confidential sources.

In an interview with The Daily Caller, journalist Audrey Hudson revealed that the Department of Homeland Security and Maryland State Police were involved in a predawn raid of her Shady Side, Md. home on Aug. 6. Hudson is a former Washington Times reporter and current freelance reporter.

A search warrant obtained by TheDC indicates that the August raid allowed law enforcement to search for firearms inside her home.

The document notes that her husband, Paul Flanagan, was found guilty in 1986 to resisting arrest in Prince George’s County. The warrant called for police to search the residence they share and seize all weapons and ammunition because he is prohibited under the law from possessing firearms.

But without Hudson’s knowledge, the agents also confiscated a batch of documents that contained information about sources inside the Department of Homeland Security and the Transportation Security Administration, she said.

Outraged over the seizure, Hudson is now speaking out. She said no subpoena for the notes was presented during the raid and argues the confiscation was outside of the search warrant’s parameter.

“They took my notes without my knowledge and without legal authority to do so,” Hudson said this week. “The search warrant they presented said nothing about walking out of here with a single sheet of paper.”

She provided TheDC with a photo showing the stack of file folders in a bag marked “evidence/property.”

Read the entire story to get a sense of just how chilling this is. In the course of her investigative reporting, Hudson says she broke no laws, and that her sources broke no laws. Her sources are whistleblowers calling out misbehavior within the government. Now, they are compromised, as files including their identities are in the hands of government and may be in the hands of officials with an interest in keeping whistles from being blown.

But it wasn’t until a month later, on Sept. 10, that Hudson was informed by Bosch that five files including her handwritten and typed notes from interviews with numerous confidential sources and other documents had been taken during the raid.

“In particular, the files included notes that were used to expose how the Federal Air Marshal Service had lied to Congress about the number of airline flights there were actually protecting against another terrorist attack,” Hudson wrote in a summary about the raid provided to TheDC.

Recalling the experience during an interview this week, Hudson said: “When they called and told me about it, I just about had a heart attack.”

She said she asked Bosch why they took the files. He responded that they needed to run them by TSA to make sure it was “legitimate” for her to have them.

“‘Legitimate’ for me to have my own notes?” she said incredulously on Wednesday.

Asked how many sources she thinks may have been exposed, Hudson said: “A lot. More than one. There were a lot of names in those files.”

“This guy basically came in here and took my anonymous sources and turned them over — took my whistleblowers — and turned it over to the agency they were blowing the whistle on,” Hudson said. “And these guys still work there.”

The agent, Miguel Bosch, won’t answer the Daily Caller’s questions about the raid. The government has clammed up, citing the potential for “criminal charges.”