Attorney General Merrick Garland says he will work to put the Justice Department’s new pledge against spying on journalists into regulation, so that the promise has some teeth.
Garland met with executives from CNN, The New York Times and The Washington Post on Monday afternoon in the wake of startling disclosures about the seizure of phone records from journalists at the three news outlets. Reporter email records were also seized in some cases.
In effect the Biden administration is making a major shift from the past and saying it will not use subpoena powers to obtain reporters’ records and try to catch sources who leak information to them.
“As previously announced,” the DOJ said in a statement, “the department will no longer use compulsory process to obtain reporters’ source information when they are doing their jobs.”
The DOJ said the group “had a productive conversation about the need for new rules implementing the policy change” and said both sides “agreed on the need for strong, durable rules.”
“In the coming weeks,” the statement said, “the Attorney General will develop and distribute to the field a memo detailing the current policy. The Attorney General committed to working with members of the news media to codify the memo setting out these new rules into regulation.”
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: AP NEWS
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