Senators Set Hearing on Media Shield Law
By Jennifer Koons | July 22, 2022 11:55 am

The Senate Judiciary Committee will take up legislation later this week to enact a new media shield law that includes revised Justice Department rules for investigations involving journalists.

Sens. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said the pending legislation would codify many of the changes outlined in the updated DOJ guidelines for national security leak investigations that involve members of the media.

“The DOJ guidelines were a promising start, but this bill ensures that they can’t be changed on a whim, and goes beyond the guidelines to ensure that we balance our national security needs against the public’s right to the free flow of information,” Schumer said. “These changes make the bill stronger and should provide added momentum to get it passed.”

The proposed Free Flow of Information Act includes a provision requiring strict guidelines be met before reporters are compelled to identify their sources. The bill further requires prosecutors to prove “the public interest in compelling disclosure outweighs the public interest in gathering or disseminating news or information.”

The legislation enjoys broad bipartisan support and has been well received by the White House and Department of Justice.

“The department is pleased with the progress being made on this important media shield legislation,” said Justice spokesman Brian Fallon. “We will continue to work with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle as the bill moves forward in the Senate.”

In a strange twist, just as the Department of Justice has enthusiastically backed the shield legislation, a federal appeals court handed the Obama administration a victory by ruling that a New York Times reporter was not protected from testifying in a long-running government leak case.

The U.S. Court of Appeals from the 4th Circuit found that journalist James Risen does not have special privilege that would allow him to withhold testimony in the criminal case.

“We agree with the decision,” said a spokesman for the Justice Department. “We are examining the next steps in the prosecution of this case.”


Comments are closed.

  • Northern California Real Estate Investor Agrees to Plead Guilty to Bid Rigging and Fraud at Public Foreclosure Auctions
  • Eleven Northern California Real Estate Investors Indicted for Bid Rigging and Fraud at Public Foreclosure Auctions
  • Five Florida Residents Plead Guilty for Roles in $6 Million Miami Home Health Care Fraud Scheme
  • Owner of Miami Home Health Company Pleads Guilty for Role in $30 Million Health Care Fraud Scheme
  • Detroit-Area Man Arrested in Connection with Home Health Care Fraud Scheme
  • Owner and Administrator of Two Miami Home Health Companies Sentenced to 80 Months in Prison for $74 Million Fraud Scheme
  • Owner and Patient Recruiter Sentenced to Prison for Their Roles in $258.5 Million Medicare Fraud Scheme
  • Alabama Real Estate Investor Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy to Commit Mail Fraud
  • Detroit-Area Home Health Care Assistant Sentenced for Scheme to Bill Medicare Nearly $15 Million for Services Never Provided
  • Five Northern California Real Estate Investors Indicted for Bid Rigging and Fraud at Public Foreclosure Auctions