Civil Liberties

DOJ To Back Off Searches of Journalists' Records

Pissing off the press was a mistake


President Obama met with Attorney General Eric Holder on Friday and "accepted" a report on the Justice Department's targeting of media members who published classified information, the White House said Friday.

Press secretary Jay Carney said that the full report would be released Friday by the Justice Department, but declined to discuss the contents of the report.

"When it is released, we'll have something to say about it," Carney said.

The New York Times and Reuters reported Friday that the attorney general is expected to issue new guidelines that will limit the circumstances under which the Justice Department could obtain journalists' records.

The new regulations will explicitly prohibit the government from portraying a reporter as a co-conspirator, as happened to Fox News reporter James Rosen. It will also toughen requirements for prosecutors to obtain journalists' phone records without giving advance notice and allow organizations to contest the request in court.