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Obama Admin Secretly Obtains Trove of Associated Press Phone Records in “Unprecedented Intrusion”

HeadlineMay 14, 2013

The Associated Press says the U.S. Department of Justice has secretly obtained a trove of journalists’ phone records in what AP’s chief executive called a “massive and unprecedented intrusion.” The Obama administration seized records for the work and personal phone numbers of individual reporters, for general AP office numbers in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Hartford, Connecticut, and for the main number for the AP in the House of Representatives press gallery. More than 100 reporters work in the offices. The records were from April and May of 2012. Among those whose records were obtained were Matt Apuzzo, Adam Goldman, three other reporters and an editor, all of whom worked on a May 7, 2012, story that revealed details about a CIA operation in Yemen which stopped an alleged terror plot. AP had delayed publication of the story at the government’s request. It is believed the U.S. attorney in Washington is conducting a criminal investigation into the source of information contained in the story. CIA Director John Brennan has faced questions over whether he is the source, a claim he denies. In a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, AP chief executive Gary Pruitt said: “There can be no possible justification for such an over-broad collection … These records potentially reveal communications with confidential sources … and disclose information about AP’s activities and operations that the government has no conceivable right to know.”

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