The Justice Department in recent days has come under fire for defining Fox News reporter James Rosen as a possible criminal “co-conspirator” who broke the law for publishing information leaked by one of his sources.
After citing his alleged criminal behavior in an affidavit, the Justice Department proceeded to seize e-mails from Rosen’s personal Gmail account and his work and cell phone records. The Justice Department also monitored Rosen’s activity at the State Department.
After meeting with journalists Thursday night, the Justice Department issued a statement indicating that in spite of the the affidavit, they did not expect to prosecute James Rosen for criminal behavior.
“At no time during the leak case involving Stephen Kim, before or after the FBI sought the search warrant, have prosecutors sought approval to bring criminal charges against the reporter,” the statement read.
According to journalists who attended the off-the-record meeting with Attorney General Eric Holder Thursday night, the department discussed revising the language so that reporters wouldn’t need to be defined as co-conspirators to execute search warrants.
“And nearly three years after completing our thorough investigation of the Kim matter, the Department does not anticipate bringing any additional charges,” the statement continued. “During the Attorney General’s tenure, no reporter has ever been prosecuted.”
But the statement does not explain why Justice Department officials failed to contact either Fox News or the Associated Press while making its case for a broad seizure of phone records and personal emails.