It's especially depressing to read a defense of the Rosen warrant at @motherjones, which has such rich history of investigative reporting.—
Ryan Lizza (@RyanLizza) May 25, 2013
The New Yorker’s Ryan Lizza has provided some of the most comprehensive reporting on the Justice Department’s investigation into Fox News reporter James Rosen, uncovering a list of 30 phone numbers that the department was tracking, including Rosen’s personal cell phone and one number belonging to Rosen’s parents. Lizza also reported that the Justice Department lobbied Google to keep its investigation of Rosen’s personal emails secret so that it could monitor the Gmail account for “a lengthy period of time.”
Having studied the original documents in the case, Lizza isn’t impressed by the analysis provided by Mother Jones’ Kevin Drum, who found some hope for Obama administration fans in the New York Times’ reporting on the case.
In other words, [the Department of Justice] had to accuse Rosen of a crime in order to get the warrant approved. It was all pro forma, and doesn’t suggest anything one way or the other about whether they ever intended to actually charge Rosen with anything.
No biggie, see. The government was actually after Stephen Jin-Woo Kim and never intended to charge Rosen with a crime. The Justice Department just needed to accuse him of committing a crime so it could secretly monitor his email account and his movements.
It’s worth repeating that Attorney General Eric Holder himself vetted and signed the search warrant accusing Rosen of crimes it never intended to prosecute — strictly a formality. Nothing to see here; wouldn’t you rather watch that hidden camera video of Mitt Romney again?