Skip to content

Justice Dept. subpoenas reporter over CIA sources

Post categories

  1. Protecting Sources and Materials
The Obama Justice Department has decided to continue the Bush administration's quest to compel a New York Times reporter to…

The Obama Justice Department has decided to continue the Bush administration’s quest to compel a New York Times reporter to testify about confidential sources in a book he published about the CIA, The New York Times reported.

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. has renewed a January 2008 subpoena seeking the confidential sources of James Risen, a Times reporter who won a Pulitzer Prize for articles exposing the National Security Agency’s warrantless surveillance program. He was subpoenaed in connection with a book he published in 2006, "State of War: The Secret History of the C.I.A. and the Bush Administration."

Former Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey authorized the first subpoena, which sought documents and testimony about sources in a particular chapter that described a CIA plan to disrupt Iranian nuclear research, which Risen described as "reckless."

The old subpoena expired last summer before Risen had to testify. Attorney General Holder chose to issue a new subpoena that compels Risen to appear before an grand jury on May 4 in Alexandria, Va.

Risen’s attorney, Joel Kurtzberg of Cahill Gordon & Reindel, said they intend to fight the subpoena.

“We obviously were contacted by the government earlier, pursuant to the DOJ guidelines, so we weren’t completely shocked,” Kurtzberg said, “But it’s disappointing that this administration decided to continue what the last administration started.”