TribLIVE

| USWorld

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

FBI cast reporter as criminal in probe of North Korea leak

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Daily Photo Galleries

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By The Associated Press
Tuesday, May 21, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
 

WASHINGTON — In another case of the Obama administration's investigating classified information improperly disclosed to reporters, the government is prosecuting a State Department expert on North Korea in a probe that appears to step into uncharted territory — by declaring that a journalist is committing a crime in disclosing leaked information.

During the investigation of State Department adviser Stephen Kim, law enforcement officials obtained a search warrant for some private emails of James Rosen, the chief Washington correspondent for Fox News. Investigators also tracked Rosen's comings and goings from the State Department.

An FBI agent seeking the search warrant spelled out the government's view of the journalist's role, saying that the reporter is a co-conspirator and that there is probable cause to believe the reporter committed a violation of criminal law.

“We are outraged to learn today that James Rosen was named a criminal co-conspirator for simply doing his job as a reporter,” said Michael Clemente, Fox's executive vice president for news. “In fact, it is downright chilling. We will unequivocally defend his right to operate as a member of what up until now has always been a free press.”

Kim, who is awaiting trial, is accused of revealing secrets to the news organization. No charges have been filed against Rosen.

The Kim case is further along than a more recent leak probe in which prosecutors secretly subpoenaed Associated Press phone records. In the AP case, AP President and Chief Executive Gary Pruitt said the government's conduct has had a chilling effect on news gathering, a week after the subpoenas were revealed publicly.

In June 2009, Rosen reported that U.S. intelligence officials warned President Obama and senior federal officials that North Korea would respond to a United Nations Security Council resolution condemning nuclear tests with another nuclear test.

The 2010 affidavit for a search warrant, first reported by The Washington Post, does not identify Rosen as “the reporter,” but he wrote the story at issue, and Fox News confirmed it was him on Monday.

The White House would not comment about tracking Rosen, citing an ongoing criminal investigation. Instead, White House spokesman Jay Carney cited a media shield law Obama supports as evidence of his commitment to journalistic freedom, reprising an argument the White House used a week earlier in declining to address the Justice Department's probe involving AP.

“The president believes it's important that we find a proper balance between a need — absolute need — to protect our secrets and to prevent leaks that can jeopardize the lives of Americans and can jeopardize our national security interests on the one hand, and the need to defend the First Amendment and protect the ability of reporters to pursue investigative journalism,” Carney said.

In the Kim case, “based on the investigation and all of the facts known to date, no other individuals, including the reporter, have been charged since Mr. Kim was indicted nearly three years ago,” said the U.S. Attorney's Office in Washington, which is prosecuting the case.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Nation

  1. Hitchhiking robot’s journey west cut short in Philly
  2. Veterans notified of info breach in South Dakota
  3. Obama orders steeper emission cuts from power plants
  4. West Virginia on pace to issue record number of concealed-carry permits
  5. Wreckage from Challenger, Columbia goes on display
  6. GOP leaders aloof as Texas Attorney General Paxton indicted for securities fraud
  7. Finish 44-year Hamtramck housing bias case soon, judge tells lawyers
  8. CDC: 1 in 5 American adults live with a disability
  9. Manhunt under way for suspect in Memphis officer’s killing
  10. Phoenix man accused of beheading wife, dogs jailed on $2M bail
  11. 5,000 homes in peril of Northern Calif. wildfire