CNN lawyer describes gag order where DOJ sought reporter's email 1

CNN lawyer describes gag order where DOJ sought reporter’s email


Since July 17, 2020, I have been bound by a gag order or a sealing order that prohibited me from discussing, or even acknowledging, that the government was seeking to compel the disclosure of the professional email communications of CNN reporter Barbara Starr.
That day, through our parent company WarnerMedia, I received a secret order issued by a federal magistrate judge in the Eastern District of Virginia. That court, based on an ex parte submission approved by the William Barr-led Justice Department, had ruled that CNN must produce all of Ms. Starr's email headers from a two-month period in 2017.
We immediately retained outside counsel to challenge the order. I was informed that, other than conferring with counsel, the order prohibited me from acknowledging to anyone that it even existed unless I had express permission from the Department of Justice.
I was told in no uncertain terms (multiple times) that I was forbidden from communicating about any aspect of the order or these proceedings to the journalist whose interests I am duty-bound to protect, Barbara Starr. And I was further informed that if I violated the order, I was subject to charges of contempt and even criminal prosecution for obstruction of justice.
I was aware that such secret orders were used by DOJ on matters of national security. However, in the 20 years I have been at CNN, we have never been subject to one. That is likely because the law and existing DOJ regulations establish (at least on paper) a very high bar for such an order to be issued directly against a media organization. Advance notice is typically required. The government is required to show "negotiations with the affected member of the news media [and] appropriate notice to the affected member of the news media, unless the Attorney General determines that, for compelling reasons, such negotiations or notice would pose a clear and substantial threat to the integrity of the investigation, risk grave harm to national security, or present an imminent risk of death or serious bodily harm," according to Justice Department regulations.

Read David Vigilante's full account here

#DavidVigilante #CNNBusiness #News


    1. Come back with your story once you know what it was about. Without that knowledge, this “Trump made his DOJ do (possibly) immoral things” was not news but a waste of all viewers time.

  1. James Madison-“Oppressors can tyrannize when they achieve a standing army, an enslaved press and a disarmed populace.”

    1. I’m guessing you missed the part where the attorney in this video said this was a legal part of a criminal investigation

    2. @Chewie Knievel don’t hold your breath on the insane right owning their mistakes, much less their crimes. Look at trump and his congressional sycophants whitewashing the 1/6 insurrection as tourists on tour. They back crimes and lies

  2. America refused to address or even acknowledge its Christian extremist problem.

    Now it’s paid with its democracy.

    1. @Raydensheraj Slave owners of the Confederacy were mostly southern democrats. Democrats founded the KKK. Lincoln was a Republican. No wonder CNN/MSNBC can gaslight you libtards… know nothing.

    2. @kw kimbugwe It’s called the SPIN cycle. The GQP (Grand Q’anon Party) is world famous for that.


    4. @Rod The Republican party managed to bring those racist, christian democrats into the fold with its “Southern Strategy” in the late sixties and early seventies.

      Mix in a little Paul Weyrich, Jerry Falwell, Ronald Reagan, Newt Gingrich and Donald Trump over the years and voila! …Radicalized Christian extremists.

  3. I would love to know the reason for the gag order. I put money that the DOJ was over the line in this order.

  4. Do a story on Michael Franzese talking about Al Sharpton ratting on others to avoid drug charges

    1. Monday, March 24th, 2014. “A New York Times reporter (James Risen) called the administration of President Barack Obama “the greatest enemy of press freedom that we have encountered in at least a generation”

      In that same article, Jeffrey Toobin, a lawyer who writes for The New Yorker and serves as a commentator for CNN, told the group, “For better or worse, it has been clear there is no journalistic privilege under the First Amendment.”

      Perhaps more people should have been upset then. Now this is just another example of another Administration abusing their power. Not the first, and thanks to those who only stand up when it’s their party in the White House, it won’t be the last.
      Does it still sound criminal?

  5. “We were completely deprived of our rights under the First Amendment”.
    You CAN’T be deprived of your rights. The orders were unlawful. You were supposed to fight them, in public.

  6. Leave the press alone! If you have a leak, you must go after it on the government side. Do not obstruct the press!

  7. Gawd … barr the law enforcer was really a lawbreaker. So is Garland gonna let one criminal act after another go unpunished?

  8. News organization? I beg to differ……propaganda organization, I’ll go with that.

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