The Justice Department spied extensively on Fox News reporter James Rosen in 2010, collecting his telephone records, tracking his movements in and out of the State Department, and seizing two days of Rosen’s personal emails, the Washington Post reported on Monday.
In a chilling move sure to rile defenders of civil liberties, an FBI agent also accused Rosen of breaking the law with behavior that—at least as described—falls inside the bounds of traditional news reporting. (Disclosure: This reporter counts Rosen among his friends.)
The revelations surfaced with President Barack Obama’s administration already under fire for seizing two months of telephone records of reporters and editors at the Associated Press. Obama last week said he makes “no apologies” for investigations into national security-related leaks. The AP’s CEO, Gray Pruitt, said Sunday that the seizure was “unconstitutional.”
The Obama administration has prosecuted twice as many leakers as all previous administrations combined.