Starr is the fourth reporter in three weeks to learn that the Justice Department secretly sought communications files.
The news network reported that she was informed by the Justice Ministry in a May 13 letter that prosecutors sought and obtained documents spanning two months about four years ago in June and July 2017.
The moment coincided with comments from then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions in August 2017 announcing the administration’s efforts to tackle an “impressive number of leaks undermining our government’s ability to protect this country.”
“One of the things we are doing is reviewing policies affecting media briefings,” he said, according to Reuters. “We respect the important role the press plays and we will respect them, but it is not unlimited.”
Although the period of telephone and electronic recordings preceded Mr. Sessions’ comments, it is not known whether the investigation began at the time or whether it was initiated under his successor William Barr, who was sworn in as as Attorney General in 2019.
The broadcaster said the Justice Department confirmed the decision to use court process to obtain the records was approved in 2020, when Mr. Trump was still president, but that Starr herself never had. been the target of an investigation.
CNN Chairman Jeff Zucker said the broadcaster was seeking an immediate meeting with the Department of Justice for an explanation. “CNN strongly condemns the covert collection of any aspect of a journalist’s correspondence, which is clearly protected by the First Amendment,” he told reporters at the outlet covering the story.
Le Washington Post was also informed in May that the Justice Ministry secretly sought to obtain communication reports from three journalists between April and July in 2017.
the Poster said the targeted recordings were linked to reporting in the early months of the Trump administration and focused on Russia’s role in the 2016 election.
Reporters Ellen Nakashima and Greg Miller, and former Poster On May 3, journalist Adam Entous was told that the Justice Department had searched for “communication tapes with no content”, including phone numbers and length of calls, but had not obtained them.
During the period covered by the 2017 seizure attempt, reporters wrote about the intelligence interceptions, indicating that when Mr. Sessions was a senator in 2016, he discussed the Trump campaign with the Ambassador of Russia in the United States.