Several disturbing/interesting details in this first-person account from CNN's lawyer over the gag order he faced in the network's battle with the Trump admin over its reporter's email records:…
First, not only was he barred from telling his client about the existence of the legal affecting her email records, but he was denied basically all basic info about the case:
Second, after several secret court filings by DOJ and multiple appeals, a district judge basically characterized the DOJ's claims as bullshit (as they often are when the government uses secrecy to shield the other side from making arguments in court cases):
Third, CNN apparently hosts its own email! This is a rarity in this day-and-age of hosted services, but provides important legal protections. If it's held be a third party, it's conceivable CNN would never have heard about this legal order until it was too late.
Finally, unlike the recent NYT case, CNN seems to have handed over *some* email records to the government as part of a settlement. Did those email records identify potential sources? They don't say anything more, but it would be quite alarming if they did.…

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More from @trevortimm

8 Mar
The trial of reporter Andrea Sahouri, arrested while covering a protest for @DMRegister last year, is being broadcast live by Drake Law School. Just started:
Police officer on stand just described "record-after-the-fact" body cameras he was outfitted with.

If you "forget" to record, the footage is still recorded and can be retrieved. And of course, in the case of this arrested reporter, he didn't record and they never retrieved it.
I've never heard of this supposed body camera feature before, and doesn't seem to be any reporting on it.
Read 5 tweets
8 Jan
Surprised in this otherwise excellent obit of legendary journalist Neil Sheehan, the @nytimes didn't mention that the Nixon admin tried to charge Sheehan and his wife Susan under the Espionage Act *after* the Pentagon Papers Supreme Court case.…
The Pentagon Papers Supreme Court ruling is, of course, a landmark First Amendment opinion. But it's bizarre to me that the Nixon admin actually tried to *criminally charge* Sheehan for his reporting, and the case is almost lost to history.
One of the only descriptions of the Espionage Act grand jury investigation into Neil Sheehan, besides in the @nytimes archives, is this 2011 @dailybeast piece by former NYT general counsel James Goodale. It is an absolutely remarkable story.…
Read 9 tweets
4 Jan
Wow. The decision was based on the US prison system being so awful and repressive that Assange would be at significant suicide risk.
The full decision is now posted here:…
Hard to call this a true victory for press freedom, given the judge's disregard for journalists' rights in the ruling. But it's a huge sigh of relief. If the US can't prosecute Assange, it means there won't precedent criminalizing newsgathering. And that's a very good thing.
Read 4 tweets
23 Dec 20
Huge respect to @ScottShaneNYT for this. At the same time, it’s so disconcerting how many other reporters are ignoring the Assange case.

When it comes to Trump’s rhetoric, everyone is quick to denounce. Yet this case has FAR more impact on press freedom than anything Trump says
I get it, people hate Assange. Criticize him all you want!

But please also acknowledge every single major press freedom group in the US: the criminal case against him is INCREDIBLY DANGEROUS for reporters—even if you don’t think Assange is a journalist!…
Here’s Bruce Brown—@rcfp exec. director—writing that the Assange case is "the first time in American history that the US gov't has sought to prosecute the act of publishing state secrets, something that national security reporters do with some regularity"…
Read 10 tweets
26 Sep 19
I wrote for @genmag at @medium: The Trump whistleblower case shows why leaks are vital for democracy.

The whistleblower himself didn't leak classified info, but others did—pushing the story further every day until it became the biggest in the country.…
@GENmag @Medium Classified leaks published by news orgs forced Dems to move on impeachment, forced Trump to release the call, forced the DNI to submit to Congress, and forced the complaint itself to be declassified.

Without leaks, it's possible this story would have been buried and forgotten.
@GENmag @Medium The brave person or people who leaked the contents of the whistleblower complaint before it was declassified broke the same law @Snowden did. The DOJ could prosecute them.

Yet we wouldn't be here without them!
Read 5 tweets
26 Feb 19
This is CRAZY. Journalists were inadvertently given a list of police misconduct reports via a public records request. The California AG is now saying the journalists are breaking the law by merely *possessing* the documents and threatened legal action.…
When I first read the article, I thought it must have been overstating things. But it's not -- read the full, threatening letter the California AG's office sent the journalists:…
In a statement to @FreedomofPress today, California AG @XavierBecerra's office doubled down on their contention that the reporters here are breaking the law by possessing documents about police criminal convictions. We'll have a story up about it in the morning.
Read 8 tweets

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