Justice Department says it will no longer seize reporters' records

The reversal follows a pledge last month by President Joe Biden, who had said it was “simply, simply wrong” to seize journalists' records and that his Justice Department would halt the practice.

Associated Press

Jun 5, 2021, 4:21 PM

Updated 1,046 days ago

Share:

The Justice Department said Saturday that it no longer will secretly obtain reporters' records during leak investigations, a policy shift that abandons a practice decried by news organizations and press freedom groups.
The reversal follows a pledge last month by President Joe Biden, who had said it was “simply, simply wrong” to seize journalists' records and that his Justice Department would halt the practice.
The tactic was used by Democratic and Republican administrations alike in an effort to identify sources who revealed classified information to journalists. The policy had received renewed scrutiny over the past month as Justice Department officials had alerted reporters at three different news organizations - The Washington Post, CNN and The New York Times - that their phone records had been obtained.
“Going forward, consistent with the President’s direction, this Department of Justice - in a change to its longstanding practice - will not seek compulsory legal process in leak investigations to obtain source information from members of the news media doing their jobs,” department spokesman Anthony Coley said in a statement.
He added that the "department strongly values a free press, protecting First Amendment values, and is committed to taking all appropriate steps to ensure the independence of journalists.”
By ERIC TUCKER
(Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.)


More from News 12
2:14
No layoffs in Sachem School District; multimillion-dollar budget shortfall remains

No layoffs in Sachem School District; multimillion-dollar budget shortfall remains

1:32
Chances for showers next 2 days; cooler trend for rest of workweek

Chances for showers next 2 days; cooler trend for rest of workweek

2:06
School superintendent: No major cuts to programs or school closures this year in Long Beach

School superintendent: No major cuts to programs or school closures this year in Long Beach

1:34
West Islip BOE approves $139M budget as parents address safety concerns

West Islip BOE approves $139M budget as parents address safety concerns

1:40
West Islip student accused of bringing gun, bullets to high school pleads not guilty

West Islip student accused of bringing gun, bullets to high school pleads not guilty

0:33
Adventureland opens Tuesday for people with autism and their loved ones

Adventureland opens Tuesday for people with autism and their loved ones

0:23
Police: Tractor-trailer filled with potatoes goes up in flames on LIE

Police: Tractor-trailer filled with potatoes goes up in flames on LIE

1:04
Driver in fatal shooting of Detective Jonathan Diller pleads not guilty

Driver in fatal shooting of Detective Jonathan Diller pleads not guilty

1:59
State budget tentative agreement allows school boards to move forward

State budget tentative agreement allows school boards to move forward

1:30
DEC: 3rd layer discovered under chemical drums already uncovered at Bethpage park

DEC: 3rd layer discovered under chemical drums already uncovered at Bethpage park

0:22
Police: 2 officers injured while making arrest at Bellerose 7-Eleven

Police: 2 officers injured while making arrest at Bellerose 7-Eleven

0:30
Police: 23-year-old charged for scrawling antisemitic graffiti in East Meadow

Police: 23-year-old charged for scrawling antisemitic graffiti in East Meadow

1:52
‘Wastewater Olympics’ held in East Rockaway ahead of Earth Day

‘Wastewater Olympics’ held in East Rockaway ahead of Earth Day

1:50
Made on Long Island: Ronance Mouthwatering Morsels in Bellmore

Made on Long Island: Ronance Mouthwatering Morsels in Bellmore

1:32
Nassau Community College professors call on state to step in to help school survive

Nassau Community College professors call on state to step in to help school survive

Police: Driver arrested for fatal Brentwood hit-and-run

Police: Driver arrested for fatal Brentwood hit-and-run

1:39
Paws & Pals: Dogs up for adoption at Almost Home Animal Rescue

Paws & Pals: Dogs up for adoption at Almost Home Animal Rescue

4:39
Guide: Ways to help you identify and deal with work burnout

Guide: Ways to help you identify and deal with work burnout

1:49
Officials: Fire dispatcher's wife alerts him about blaze at their Centereach home

Officials: Fire dispatcher's wife alerts him about blaze at their Centereach home

0:32
State police: Trooper conducting traffic stop rear-ended on Meadowbrook State Parkway

State police: Trooper conducting traffic stop rear-ended on Meadowbrook State Parkway