ACLU Comment on Trump DOJ Seizing Communications from Journalists

June 3, 2021 2:00 pm

Media Contact
125 Broad Street
18th Floor
New York, NY 10004
United States

The Biden administration disclosed yesterday that the Trump Justice Department seized phone records of New York Times reporters in 2017. This disclosure follows similar reports from the Washington Post and CNN that their reporters’ phone and email communications were obtained as part of leak investigations.

Below is a comment from Patrick Toomey, senior staff attorney with the ACLU’s National Security Project, in response:

“The government should never spy on journalists just for doing their job. The Justice Department’s repeated efforts to seize journalists’ sensitive phone and email records threatens news reporting that lies at the heart of the First Amendment. While we welcome President Biden’s promise to put a stop to these dangerous demands, existing executive branch policies have proven inadequate. Congress and the administration need to impose binding limits that will protect reporters going forward.”

Every month, you'll receive regular roundups of the most important civil rights and civil liberties developments. Remember: a well-informed citizenry is the best defense against tyranny.

Learn More About the Issues in This Press Release