The American newspaper reported that the Trump administration secretly obtained phone records from reporters from the Washington Post, who wrote about allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
The US Department of Justice sent a letter to reporters Ellen Nakashima and Greg Miller, as well as former reporter Adam Entous, stating that it had received personal and business landline and mobile phone data for the period April 15, 2017 through July 31, 2017, The Washington Post reported.
At the end of that period, the three reporters wrote a story about US intelligence agencies in which they suggested that Jeff Sessions, who would later become attorney general under Donald Trump, discussed the Trump campaign with the Russian ambassador. Moscow has been accused of supporting fraudulent Donald Trump’s 2016 nomination, with the goal of letting him win.
Editor-in-chief Cameron Barr said the newspaper was “extremely concerned about the government’s use of the authority to access journalists’ communications.” “The Ministry of Justice must immediately investigate this interference with the activities of the reporters, who are protected by the First Amendment,” he said.
The civil rights organization, the American Civil Liberties Union, said that the Justice Department “spied on” reporters “on the whim of the government.” “This shouldn’t have happened at all,” the American Civil Liberties Union said. “If the government spies on journalists and their sources, it is endangering the freedom of the press.”
The Ministry of Justice said it followed “standard procedures” with regard to the application. The letters to reporters did not explain the reason for the confiscation of the data.