Justice Department Defends Actions In Seizure Of A.P. Phone Records
The Deputy Attorney General in charge of the investigation that included the seizure of Associated Press phone records is defending the DOJ’s actions:
James Cole, the deputy attorney general who the Justice Department said oversaw the secret collection of AP reporters’ phone records in 2012, says in a letter to the news organization that Justice acted properly in doing so.
“We strive in every case to strike the proper balance between the public’s interest in the free flow of information and the public’s interest in the protection of national security and effective enforcement of our criminal laws,” Cole wrote. “We believe we have done so in this matter.”
The Justice Department is allowed to obtain phone records without notifying someone if doing so would threaten the integrity of the investigation. Cole said the Justice Department sought the records only after exhausting other methods of information-gathering.
“Please understand that I appreciate your concerns and that we do not take lightly the decision to issue subpoenas for toll records associated with members of the news media,” Cole wrote.
Here’s the letter itself:
Where we go from here is unclear.