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nytimes – CNN lawyers gagged in fight with Justice Department over journalist’s emails

The initial order, Vigilante said in a separate account published online by CNN, required data that would cover more than 30,000 emails, of which around 26,000 were internal and therefore had nothing to do with an investigation of the leaks. In September, the network asked a court to narrow the scope of the order, he said.

A magistrate’s judge in the Eastern District of Virginia – Theresa Carroll Buchanan, CNN said – said in an Oct. 7 hearing that the Justice Department should restrict the order, but two days later the department told him provided a secret file his lawyers could not see. .

Two weeks later, Mr Vigilante said, she ordered CNN to comply with Ms Starr’s original and complete request for email recordings. In November, the network appealed the ruling, and the following month Judge Anthony Trenga, a district court judge, held a hearing and then ordered the department to narrow the scope of his claim.

Mr Vigilante quoted the judge expressing his skepticism about the government’s explanation of the relevance of Ms Starr’s email logs, describing the prosecutors’ theory as being based on “speculative predictions, assumptions and non-scenarios. rooted in facts ”.

He also said that the judge said at the hearing: “The information requested, by its nature, is too attenuated and not sufficiently linked to evidence relevant, material or useful to the investigation attributed by the government. , especially when viewed in light of the activities of the First Amendment that it relates to. “

On January 15, just before the Trump administration left office, the department asked the judge to reconsider, CNN said. Then, on January 26, six days after Mr. Biden’s inauguration, lawyers for the network spoke to prosecutors and struck a deal to produce what a CNN reporter described as “a limited number of” e-mail recordings – essentially records that the government already had on its side of these communications.

That deal ended the fight, CNN said, although leaders who knew about the fight remained under the gag order until recently. The network also said it was unaware that Ms Starr’s phone records and personal email account data had been entered separately until the Justice Department informed them in May.

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