Justice’s actions have been criticized by lawmakers and journalists across the political spectrum, including David Corn, a reporter for the liberal magazine Mother Jones.
“If a reporter asks a source who handles classified material for info, does DOJ see that as a crime?,” Corn asked on Twitter. “The Rosen case may be more imp. than AP.”
Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) on Friday criticized Justice’s tracking of AP phone records.
“Casing and chilling the press by doing that type of sweep, to me, as an attorney, I said, 'Ew, that's [worrisome],' ” Cuellar said. “They should have gone to a judge.”
Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) introduced legislation with conservative Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) last week that would require law enforcers to obtain a court order before they can procure reporters' records.
“It needs to be targeted,” Polis told MSNBC's Chris Jansing on Monday. “They can't simply cast a broad net in a fishing expedition as it appears like they did in this case.”
White House press secretary Jay Carney avoided comments on the Fox News case on Monday, repeatedly saying it was an ongoing investigation.
He argued President Obama is strong ally of news organizations’ right to investigate and report, but said national security leaks could jeopardize the lives of American military and intelligence officials.
Obama himself has made no apologies for the Justice’s sweep of AP phone records.
He said last week the administration has struck a balance between protecting troops in the field and allowing reporters the free reign to hold the government into account.
“Leaks related to national security can put people at risk. They can put men and women in uniform that I’ve sent into the battlefield at risk. They can put some of our intelligence officers, who are in various, dangerous situations that are easily compromised, at risk,” Obama said Thursday during a press briefing at the White House. “Part of my job is to make sure that we’re protecting what they do, while still accommodating for the need for information — or the need for the public to be informed and be able to hold my office accountable.”
Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.), says the administration “has more to share” with Congress about the AP episode.
“In terms of the Constitutional rights of freedom of speech and reporters I think, in this particular case, as long as it doesn't endanger the lives of any people, that they ought to make a special effort to be more forthcoming in why they took this very unusual step to acquire telephone numbers,” Rangel said Friday.