Ex-defense secretary sues over withheld material from Trump era memoir

The Guardian

Esper, 57, a West Point graduate and Gulf war veteran, said in a statement that he had waited for six months for the review process to play out but found “my unclassified manuscript arbitrarily redacted without clearly being told why”.

“I am more than disappointed the current administration is infringing on my first amendment constitutional rights. And it is with regret that legal recourse is the only path now available for me to tell my full story to the American people,” he said.

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/nov/29/ex-defense-secretary-sues-over-withheld-material-from-trump-era-memoir-mark-esper

FBI raid on Project Veritas founder’s home sparks questions about press freedom

Politico

The Biden administration’s effort to establish itself as a committed champion of press freedom is facing new doubts because of the Justice Department’s aggressive legal tactics against a conservative provocateur known for his hidden-camera video stings. 

A predawn FBI raid last weekend against Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe and similar raids on some of his associates are prompting alarm from some First Amendment advocates, who contend that prosecutors appear to have run roughshod over Justice Department media policies and a federal law protecting journalists.

Source: https://www.politico.com/news/2021/11/13/raid-veritas-okeefe-biden-press-521307

Biden faces renewed press backlash over access

Washington Examiner

Biden is not required to answer reporter questions, according to political analyst Dan Schnur, a Republican-turned-independent now at the University of California. But he urged the White House to remember the news media is a proxy for voters.

“Biden hasn’t completely shut out the press, but he has been less available to them than any president in recent memory,” Schnur added. “The White House has the prerogative of deciding on the format, but the president should be much more available to questions from journalists than has been the case until now.”

Biden has a complicated relationship with the press. Some critics contend the White House does not grant reporters enough access to the president and that aides are “handling” him. Others believe his tendency to make verbal mistakes is problematic.

Source: https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/politics/biden-press-access-backlash

Mystery surrounds Justice’s pledge on journalist records

The Hill

The Department of Justice’s (DOJ) pledge that it will no longer secretly obtain the records of journalists has left a number of unanswered questions about the department’s handling of leak investigations initiated during the Trump era.

It’s not clear what high-ranking Biden officials knew and when as the Justice Department proceeded with cases involving reporters from three different media outlets or why the department continued to push for gag orders in two cases even after President Biden said late last month that seizure of journalist records was “simply wrong.”

Source: https://thehill.com/homenews/media/557683-mystery-surrounds-justices-pledge-on-journalist-records

Donald Trump’s Justice Department obtained gag order on CNN attorney to keep secret its pursuit of reporter’s email records

Deadline

The Justice Department under President Donald Trump obtained a gag order that kept top CNN executives from disclosing the government’s pursuit of reporter Barbara Starr email and other records as part of an apparent leak investigation.

According to CNN, the effort started in July of last year and was only revealed until Wednesday, when a federal judge unsealed parts of the case. CNN’s general counsel David Vigilante went on air to explain that he was unable to reveal details of the case even to Starr herself. She and reporters from The Washington Post and The New York Times were informed last month that the government had seized their records without their knowledge.

Source: https://deadline.com/2021/06/cnn-gag-order-donald-trump-justice-department-1234772275/