News Corporation, parent company of Fox News, publicly disputed claims made by the Department of Justice concerning notifications received in the James Rosen press spying case. While DOJ asserts it notified News Corp of the subpoena that led to them seizing phone records of a journalist, News Corp said it had no records of any such notification.
News Corporation said on Sunday that it had no record of being notified by the Justice Department nearly three years ago of a subpoena for the telephone records of a reporter at its Fox News cable channel.
The company’s chief legal counsel at the time also said that he had never seen material from the government related to the subpoena.
Is someone lying? Do people not read their mail?
A Fox News executive said the channel had never heard of the Justice Department investigation and had no knowledge of New Corporation ever being notified. A News Corporation spokesman said Sunday that the company was looking into the matter of notification. “While we don’t take issue with the D.O.J.’s account that they sent a notice to News Corp., we do not have a record of ever having received it,” Nathaniel Brown, the spokesman, said.
DOJ for its part claims it notified News Corp on Aug. 27, 2010, that it seized the phone records of a Fox News reporter and that DOJ then sent copies of the subpoena by fax, email, and certified letter to News Corp, as is standard procedure.
So what really happened? Either News Corp missed a fax, an email, and a certified letter from the Justice Department or it was never sent. It is hard to see what News Corp gains by making this claim as a certified letter would have a paper trail and an email should also be easy to trace. If, however, DOJ did not send notification to News Corp detailing the seizure of a reporter’s phone records, then they may have violated procedure leading to further questions regarding the DOJ’s conduct in the James Rosen case.