Sparks flying over AP reporter's telephone records


Judiciary Committeee member Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) wants Attorney General John Ashcroft to turn over documents and answer questions related to Justice's seizure of the telephone records of AP reporter John Solomon.

Grassley also asked the Attorney General to clarify the ground rules for when the media can be subpoenaed. "It is important that you give a clear voice on the importance of protecting the Fourth Estate and I would appreciate your views on when it is appropriate to subpoena the media or media phone records."

Grassley asked for a response by Sept. 24. According to a Grassley staffer, Justice yesterday acknowledged receipt of the letter, dated Sept. 4, but gave no indication of when or how it would respond. Journalist groups, including RTNDA, have expressed concern about the subpoena and its potential chilling effect on newsgathering.
- John Eggerton