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Response to George Gently (Reply #64)

Mon May 27, 2013, 08:41 PM

65. DOJ Rules require quite a bit in reference to news media. But you already knew that, right?

Before considering issuing a subpoena to a member of the news media, or for telephone toll records of a member of the news media, Department attorneys should take all reasonable steps to attempt to obtain the information through alternative sources or means. 28 C.F.R. § 50.10(b). In addition, Department attorneys contemplating issuing a subpoena to a member of the news media must first attempt negotiations with the media aimed at accommodating the interests of the trial or grand jury with the interests of the media. 28 C.F.R. § 50.10(c). Negotiations with the affected media member must also precede any request to subpoena the telephone toll records of any member of the news media, so long as the responsible Assistant Attorney General determines that such negotiations would not pose a substantial threat to the investigation at issue.


Department attorneys seeking the Attorney General's authorization to issue a subpoena to a member of the news media, or for telephone toll records of a media member, must submit a written request summarizing the facts of the prosecution or investigation, explaining the essentiality of the information sought to the investigation or prosecution, describing attempts to obtain the voluntary cooperation of the news media through negotiation and explaining how the proposed subpoena will be fashioned as narrowly as possible to obtain the necessary information in a manner as minimally intrusive and burdensome as possible

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