Published On: Tue, Jul 20th, 2021

US Attorney General Curbs Seizure of Journalists’ Phone, Email Records

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Attorney General Merrick Garland on Monday reversed a long-standing Department of Justice (DOJ) policy by formally banning federal prosecutors from seizing the records of journalists in most leak investigations. The policy change addresses the issue first brought up by Garland in June when he said the DOJ would stop the practice of seizing reporters’ records in leak investigations. The goal of the change is to resolve the issue of prosecutors trying to balance the government’s obligation to protect classified information and the media’s First Amendment rights. “The Department of Justice will no longer use compulsory legal process for the purpose of obtaining information from or records of members of the news media acting within the scope of newsgathering activities,” said Garland in a memo sent out on Monday. The DOJ was pressured to take action after a report revealed that Trump’s DOJ had obtained records belonging to journalists at The …

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