Did the Biden Justice Department halt efforts to obtain journalists’ email records only after the efforts became public?

Saturday, June 19, 2021
By Austin Tannenbaum

During Trump’s presidency, the Justice Department sought to obtain email records of journalists at The New York Times, The Washington Post and CNN as part of efforts to identify unauthorized press leaks.

Following initial press reports about the practice, President Biden in May said such actions are “simply, simply wrong.”

Yet under Biden the Justice Department had been continuing efforts to obtain email records of four Times reporters, informing a few Times executives about the inquiry while imposing a gag order to prevent them from talking about it.

After a federal court lifted the order on June 4, the Times reported on it, prompting the White House to say no one on its staff had been aware of the Justice Department’s actions.

The next day, the department announced that it would no longer seize journalists’ records during leak investigations.

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