"cell phone" by samantha celera is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0
In a May 13th letter the Department of Justice confirmed that the Trump DOJ (Department of Justice) had secretly obtained the phone and email records of CNN’s Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr. The records covered a period of two months between June 1st and July 31, 2017.
The DOJ letter stated they had obtained the records for Starr’s Pentagon extension, CNN’s Pentagon booth number, as well as both her home and cell phone numbers. Both her work and personal email accounts were compromised as well.
It is unknown at this time whether Attorney General Sessions or AG Barr ordered the surveillance nor is it known exactly what information the Trump administration was looking for. The Justice Department said that the records were also sought through the courts last year but failed to provide any further information regarding the subject.
A Justice Department official confirmed that Starr was not the target of any ongoing investigation.
This is the third disclosure in the past three weeks stating that the Trump administration used the DOJ to covertly monitor journalists’ communications or to expose the identities of Trump critics.
Reporters for the Washington Post who covered the FBI’s Russia investigation had their phone records from 2017 and 2018 obtained by the DOJ. A reporter for the New York Times, Buzzfeed and Politico also had their phone and email records obtained. That reporter had also reported on the FBI’s Russia investigation.
Recent court documents also show that the DOJ also subpoenaed Twitter back in November in an attempt to out the user behind an account critical of House Member Devin Nunes, a key Trump ally. Actions that Twitter described as attempting to silence those critical of Trump and his allies.
AG Barr has not responded to any requests for comment.