The Trump administration secretly obtained reporters’ phone records from Washington Post Who has written about accusations of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, the American daily reported Friday.
The US Department of Justice wrote to reporters Ellen Nakashima and Greg Miller, as well as former reporter Adam Entous, informing them that he had received their phone records from personal and business landlines, and from their cell phones “for the period. April 15, 2017 to July 31, 2017” Washington Post.
Editor-in-chief Cameron Barr said the newspaper was “deeply disturbed by this use of government authority to access journalists’ communications.”
He continued, “The Department of Justice must immediately shed light on the reasons for its involvement in the activities of correspondents, which are protected by the First Amendment” of the United States Constitution.
For its part, the American Civil Liberties Union announced that the Justice Department “spied” on these journalists “at the whim of the government.”
“It shouldn’t have happened at all,” the Civil Liberties Union wrote in a tweet. “When the government spies on journalists and their sources, it endangers freedom of the press.”
The newspaper said, citing a spokesman for the ministry, that the Ministry of Justice said it followed “established procedures” with regard to the request.
The letters to journalists did not specify the reason for the confiscation of these records.
But at the end of this period, these three journalists wrote an article on the US intelligence services indicating that Jeff Sessions, who would later become attorney general under Donald Trump, discussed the latter’s campaign with the Russian ambassador.
Moscow is accused of secretly supporting Donald Trump’s candidacy in 2016, in order to promote his victory.
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