DOJ Updates Rules for Investigators Access to Journalists’ Records

The Justice Department seeks to ensure federal investigations follow the rules.

The Justice Department has updated rules that prohibit department personnel from seeking journalists’ records. Prosecutors may only subpoena reporters’ records in certain situations, such as the prevention of crime or when the journalist is the focus of an investigation.

The updated guidance stated, “This Policy is not intended to extend special protections to members of the news media who are subjects or targets of a criminal investigation, or are parties to a civil investigation, for conduct outside the scope of newsgathering.”

While allowing for evaluation of a person’s position as a reporter, the guidance asserts, “The Department does not consider the ideology or viewpoint of a person or entity, or of its reporting, when determining whether that person or entity qualifies as a member of the news media for purposes of this Policy.”

As the Lord Leads, Pray with Us…

  • For Attorney General Merrick Garland as he heads the Justice Department.
  • For U.S. investigators and prosecutors to be discerning as to when and how to seek access to reporters’ records.

Sources: CNN, AP


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