Thursday, June 03, 2021
Secretly obtained phone data
Trump administration monitored reporters
The “New York Times” is one of the favorite opponents of the former US President Trump. After reporters for the newspaper reported in 2017 about possible misconduct of the then FBI director Comey, his government unceremoniously had the journalists’ phone data confiscated. The chief editor is outraged.
According to a report in the New York Times, during the tenure of former President Donald Trump, the US government secretly gained access to the telephone data of four reporters from the newspaper. The Justice Department under Trump’s successor Joe Biden informed the newspaper on Wednesday (local time) that it had received relevant documents from mid-January to the end of April 2017, a report said. Which article triggered the investigation was not disclosed.
At the end of April 2017, the four reporters published a report on how the then FBI director James Comey handled politically sensitive investigations by the federal police in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election, including in the case of the Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. The article contained confidential information that may have led the judicial authorities to investigate to determine the sources. Trump had dismissed Comey as FBI chief in May 2017 and repeatedly attacked him for investigations by the authority into possible collusion with Trump’s campaign camp and Russia before the 2016 election.
The data obtained were part of a criminal investigation into the unauthorized disclosure of classified information, it said in a statement by the Ministry, quoted by the Washington Post. The four reporters were neither the subject nor the target of the investigation. The Ministry has also obtained a court order to get to the data of the e-mails, wrote the “New York Times”. It was not about the content of the letter. However, the authority had “received no data”.
At the beginning of May it became known that the administration of Republican Trump is said to have obtained similar data from journalists for the Washington Post and the broadcaster CNN. Editor-in-chief Dean Baquet condemned the government’s actions. “The seizure of journalists’ phone data is deeply undermining the freedom of the press.” This can silence sources that one relies on “to provide the public with important information about what the government is doing.”