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Justice Department Told News Corp. About Fox Subpoena In 2010

Fox News officials professed indignation and surprise last week over the search of reporter James Rosen's records amid a federal leak investigation

But prosecutors told Fox's parent company of a subpoena nearly three years ago.

Prosecutors issued a subpoena for Rosen's phone records and got a judge to sign off on a sealed warrant for his emails back in May 2010.

The Justice Department informed News Corporation lawyers in August 2010 of the phone records search. But a Fox executive and a News Corp. spokesman say that vital information was never shared by News Corp with Fox's executives or lawyers — hence, they say, Fox's expressions of outrage last week were real.

Former News Corp. General Counsel Lon Jacobs says he never received notification from the Department of Justice about Rosen's records. Justice, Jacobs said, appears to have sent a fax to his office line in August of 2010 and never followed up.

"I don't know why the Department of Justice would send a single fax," Jacobs said. "If they wanted Fox News to know about it, why not go to Fox?"

The disclosure does not change the anger of journalists toward a series of aggressive leak inquiries. But News Corp. spokesman Nathaniel Brown says the company is reviewing its apparent oversight, which just came to light.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

David Folkenflik was described by Geraldo Rivera of Fox News as "a really weak-kneed, backstabbing, sweaty-palmed reporter." Others have been kinder. The Columbia Journalism Review, for example, once gave him a "laurel" for reporting that immediately led the U.S. military to institute safety measures for journalists in Baghdad.