In a separate case last year, F.B.I. agents asked the White House, the Defense Department and intelligence agencies for phone and e-mail logs showing exchanges with a New York Times reporter writing about computer attacks on Iran. Agents grilled officials about their contacts with him, two people familiar with the investigation said.This particular investigation was being run by a Republican-appointed US Attorney, Rod J. Rosenstein, the US Attorney from Maryland. He, along with Ronald Machen, USA of Washington, DC, was appointed to investigate two national security leaks regarding Yemen and Iran in June 2012 by Eric Holder.
Hmm, though. Notice how the Times describes the email dragnet enacted by Rosenstein..
In a separate case last year, F.B.I. agents asked the White House, the Defense Department and intelligence agencies for phone and e-mail logs showing exchanges with a New York Times reporter writing about computer attacks on Iran. Agents grilled officials about their contacts with him, two people familiar with the investigation said.In other words, he went after the leakers. What the Times does not say is that the FBI subpoenaed personal emails and other sensitive information from their reporter David Sanger as Machen did with Rosen in the 2010 incident. While Machen didn't go after personal emails of AP reporters in the Yemen investigation in 2012-13 he did request their personal phone logs of the five AP writers involved. So we have a contrast in the manner in which the Democrat and Republican USAs have approached their charge.
All in all, the Rosen incident remains the most serious due to the reach involved--especially since the Justice Department tried to keep it sealed, and it wasn't even part of the 2010 investigation.
It's important to keep in mind a few things--1) the Justice Department already knew who leaked to James Rosen once they grabbed his emails but they kept up the surveillance thereafter then tried to keep it quiet. Recall in late 2009 that the White House, via media flak Anita Dunn, was basically at war with the network. When Helen Thomas retired from the press pool in 2010 they threatened not give Fox a front row seat in the Press Room despite their ratings status until the rest of the press raised a complaint. 2) the AP and Times both know who leaked to them in 2012, which gives them tremendous leverage in the way these stories play out.
For instance, if say a disgruntled career bureaucrat, perhaps a Republican, was their source they can play the game a bit different than if the leaker was say David Axelrod or Tom Donillon, etc. As to Iran, both Sanger and Obama said in 2012 when this was announced that the leak didn't come from the White House, despite what John McCain and other Republicans were saying (the leaks were designed to burnish Obama's terror warrior resume ahead of the election). Maybe they didn't.
Or in other words, maybe this is a trap.
If it turns out that the leaker(s) were conservatives that would leave only the James Rosen story as the conservative outrage. Already CNN is reporting that News Corp knew Rosen was under investigation back in 2010, which is to say the Fox News outrage is misplaced--which also might explain why Bill O'Reilly's head hasn't exploded on air yet. Fox claims they were not told by New Corp--which beggars belief--and they were also not told about the personal email subpoena, which doesn't, since Judge Lamberth just unsealed those documents on May 21 and apologized. But if one is true that takes away from the other.
Bottom line--if at the end of the day Fox is the only network twisting in the wind nobody will care and the story will drop, despite the egregious conduct of the administration.
The other wild card is whether this is the end of the media dragnet announcements. Even the boss says he doesn't know (an all-too-common refrain these days), but in reality everyone knows they have shown the ability to game things out to their favor in the past, so long as the media plays along. Why would anyone think things will change? That is, unless something else bubbles up to the surface.