AP Boss Calls Government Seizure "Unconstitutional"

8:18 PM, May 19, 2013   |    comments
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WASHINGTON  -- The president and CEO of The Associated Press says the government's seizure of AP journalists' phone records was "unconstitutional" and already has had a chilling effect on newsgathering.

Gary Pruitt says the Justice Department's secret subpoena of reporters' phone records has made sources less willing to talk to AP journalists.

Pruitt also says the news cooperative has not decided its next move but has not ruled out legal action.

The Justice Department disclosed the seizure of two months of phone records in a letter the AP received May 10. The letter did not state a reason, but prosecutors had said they were conducting a leaks investigation into how the AP learned about an al-Qaida bomb plot in Yemen before it was made public last year. Pruitt said the AP story contradicted the government's claim at the time there was no terrorist plot.

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