Mystery surrounds Justice’s pledge on journalist records

The Justice Department’s pledge that it will no longer secretly obtain the records of journalists has left a number of unanswered questions about the department’s handling of leak investigations initiated under the Trump-era.

It’s not clear what high ranking Biden officials knew and when as DOJ proceeded with cases involving reporters from three different media outlets or why the department continued to push for gag orders in two cases even after President Biden said late last month that seizure of journalist records was “simply simply wrong.”

Press advocates were happy to see Justice reverse itself Saturday and say it would no longer target journalists, but they also point out they’d like to know more.

“It’s a welcome policy change, but part of the problem is what we just don’t know. We have significant unanswered questions with regard to what happened in all three cases,” said Gabe Rottman, director of the Technology and Press Freedom Project with The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.

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