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September 2021


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

Tag: New York Times

Justice Dept. Subpoenas NY Times Pulitzer Prize Winner James Risen

Reporter James Risen
By Allan Lengel

The Justice Department and the New York Times have had their fair share of battles in court over testifying.

The latest: Fed prosecutors in Alexandria, Va.,  have subpoenaed Pulitzer Prize winning New York Times reporter James Risen to testify against a former CIA operative who is awaiting trial, Carrie Johnson of NPR reported.

NPR reported that ex-CIA operative Jeffrey Sterling is accused of leaking classified info which wound up in Risen’s book “State of War.”

The subpoena was filed Monday night in Virginia, NPR reported. The Justice Department court filing calls Risen a “critical” eyewitness. Authorities expect Risen to fight the subpoena.

The government wrote in its motion: “As we describe in the following pages, the Supreme Court has held that absent a showing that a criminal proceeding is being conducted in bad faith or for the purpose of harassment, there exists neither a First Amendment nor a common law reporter’s privilege that shields a reporter from his obligation to testify, even if the reporter’s testimony reveals confidential sources and information.”

“Moreover, the Government is unaware of any case in which a court has excluded from a jury’s consideration the testimony of a reporter who personally witnessed a crime, let alone crimes like the ones charged here that are alleged to have endangered the nation’s security. Accordingly, to resolve this issue as expeditiously as possible, we move for the admission of Mr. Risen’s testimony.”

To read more click here.

Read Government Motion

Justice Dept. Drops Leak Probe into Warrantless Wiretaps That Earned NY Times a Pulitzer

By Allan Lengel

WASHINGTON — Sometimes leak investigation fade into the sunset, never to be heard again.

That appears to be the case with the Justice Department, which has quietly dropped the  criminal investigation into a lawyer who admitted leaking information about President George W. Bush’s top-secret warrantless wiretapping program to The New York Times. The Times ended up winning a Pulitzer Prize with the help of that disclosure, according to Josh Gerstein of Politico.

“The decision not to prosecute former Justice Department lawyer Thomas Tamm means it is unlikely that anyone will ever be charged for the disclosures that led to the Times’s Pulitzer Prize-winning story in December 2005 revealing that, after the Sept. 11 attacks, Bush ordered the interception of certain phone calls and email messages into and out of the U.S. without a warrant — a move many lawyers contend violated the 1978 law governing intelligence-related wiretaps,” Gerstein wrote.

To read more click here.

Madoff’s Family Was Unaware of Fraud, Book Concludes

By Allan Lengel

A new book penned by New York Times senior financial writer Diana B. Henriques concludes that swindler Bernie Madoff’s immediate family was unaware of the fraud he was perpetrating.

A review in the New York Times on the book “Wizard of Lies” says of Madoff’s crimes:

“In some ways it was highly sophisticated (software that duplicated the screens of other financial software and created thousands of precisely faked statements); in other ways, it was extremely crude. (Some of his claims were often ludicrous to experts.) We also learn that Mr. Madoff was dishonest even as early as the 1960s.”

The review by Charles Ferguson calls the book “frequently compelling but ultimately disappointing.”

To read more click here.

Justice Dept. Indicts Ex-CIA Officer on Charges of Leaking Info to N.Y. Times Reporter

Reporter James Risen

By Allan Lengel

WASHINGTON — An ex-CIA officer involved in a classified clandestine operation involving Iran was arrested Thursday in St. Louis on charges of leaking classified information to a reporter, the Justice Department announced.

Jeffrey A. Sterling, 43, of O’Fallon, Mo., was charged with six counts of unauthorized disclosure of national defense information, and one count each of unlawful retention of national defense information, mail fraud, unauthorized conveyance of government property and obstruction of justice, authorities said. The indictment was unsealed in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Va.

The indictment does not mention the reporter’s name, but the Washington Post, citing former U.S. intelligence officials and attorneys familiar with the case, said it was award winning New York Times reporter James Risen,  author of a 2006 book “Star of War.”

Sterling’s attorney denied the allegations, according to the Washington Post.

“He has always maintained his innocence throughout the course of this entire investigation,” said Edward B. MacMahon Jr. “We’ll seek to prove that in court.”

To read the Justice Department press release click here.

Court Orders SEC to Reinstate Insider Trading Allegations Against Mark Cuban Who Ironically Bank Rolls Investigative Website on Securities Fraud

Mark Cuban recent appearance on HBO's "Entourage"

Mark Cuban recent appearance on HBO's "Entourage"

By Allan Lengel

WASHINGTON — Perhaps one of the more ironic things about Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban being accused of insider trading is that he bank rolls a website called, which bills itself as “an independent Web-based reporting aimed at exposing securities fraud and corporate chicanery.”

On Tuesday, Cuban was back in what must be an uncomfortable situation for the website: The federal appeals court reinstated the Security and  Exchange Commission’s insider-trading civil case against him, according to the New York Times.

In November 2008, the S.E.C. filed civil charges against Cuban, accusing him of “trading on confidential information when he sold his stake in a small Internet search company just before it announced news that caused its stock price to drop,” the Times reported. The matter was dropped more than a year ago.

Cuban’s lawyer Christopher J. Clark issued a statement about the reinstatement of the allegations,  saying:“We are supremely confident that we will prevail in the district court, either on summary judgment or at trial. The record will show that the S.E.C. alleged facts that it knew it could never prove and brought this case as a result of a pre-existing bias against Mr. Cuban.”

Cuban recently appeared in some episodes of the HBO hit “Entourage”.

Column: Reporter Bashes NY Times For Bashing FBI

Ronald Kessler is chief Washington correspondent of Kessler has authored several books including “The Bureau: The Secret History of the FBI”.

Ronald Kessler

Ronald Kessler

By Ronald Kessler

When it comes to the FBI, The New York Times has the same story line: The bureau is either incompetent, over-reactive, or spying on innocent Americans.

In most cases, the paper manages to convey those points by omitting key facts or downplaying them. For example, in revealing President Bush’s NSA intercept program, the paper used such trigger words as “eavesdropping” and “domestic spying” to suggest a massive program with sinister motives. Not until the 22nd paragraph did the story say that the intercept program targeted only calls with an overseas nexus.

But the Times reached a new low with a story this week by Shaila Dewan. Headlined “Despite FBI Fanfare, Time Runs Out on Cold Civil Rights Cases,” the story suggested that the FBI is not aggressively pursuing unsolved civil rights cases from years ago.

The story cited Attorney General Alberto Gonzales’ declaration in February 2007 that the FBI had started the Cold Case Initiative to bring to justice the perpetrators of civil rights crimes. Since then, there have been no federal indictments, the paper said.

To read more click here.

FBI Wiretapped NYT Columnist William Safire While He Worked For Govt.

William Safire/meet the press

William Safire/meet the press

By Allan Lengel

WASHINGTON — Conservative columnist William Safire was the subject of an FBI wiretap for four months while he worked for the National Security Council in 1969, according to FBI files released this month.

The FBI said the Nixon White House, concerned about leaks of classified material to reporters, asked the FBI to wiretap a number of NSC employees. The bureau did not find any dirt on Safire.

The FBI has released about 350 pages of documents on Safire from 1965 to 1994. He died in September at age 79.

The documents noted that he was a less than B student in college before dropping out and pursuing a career that included being a speech writer for President Nixon and a Pulitzer Prize winning columnist for the New York Times.

His wiretap experience left an indelible mark.

“I have a thing about wiretapping,” Safire said on “Meet The Press” in 2006, in describing his experience and discussing wiretaps during the Bush administration, according to the Associated Press. “I didn’t like that … it told me how easy it was to just take somebody who was not really suspected of anything for any good reason and listen to every conversation in his home.”

To read Associated Press story click here.

To Read Files click here.


New York Times Editorial: Republicans Using Fear and Terrorism for Politics and Sound Bites For Nov.

NervousThe New York Times
Editorial Page

An election is coming, so the Republicans are trying to scare Americans by making it appear as if the Democrats don’t care about catching or punishing terrorists.

It’s nonsense, of course, but effective. The be-very-afraid approach helped former President George W. Bush ram laws through Congress that chipped away at Americans’ rights. He used it to get re-elected in 2004. Now the Republicans are playing the fear card for the fall elections.

The most recent target is the Obama administration’s handling of the failed Christmas Day bomber, particularly its decision (an absolutely correct one) to have the F.B.I. arrest and interrogate the suspect and file federal terrorism charges rather than throw him into a military prison where the Republicans seem to expect that he would be given no rights, questioned and held without charges.

To read more click here.