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Justice Department told Fox News' parent company about phone probe years ago (update: News Corp denies report)

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News Corp. confirms that it was notified, but Fox never received the memo


An official from the Fox television network this week confirmed that officials from the Justice Department notified its parent company nearly three years ago of plans to seize the telephone records of James Rosen, a Fox News correspondent who allegedly revealed top secret US intelligence on North Korea. As the Wall Street Journal reports, the Justice Department told parent company News Corp. of the investigation in August 2010, three months after a judge signed off on a subpoena of Rosen's phone records.

The plot thickens

Fox had previously expressed outrage over the seizure, claiming that prosecutors had never notified the network of the operation as they claimed to have done. Now, Fox says that the Justice Department did in fact notify News Corp., but this information was never passed down to the network. A News Corp. spokeswoman tells the Journal that the company is investigating the oversight.

Federal prosecutors allege that Rosen reported on secret information that was leaked to him by Stephen Kim, a former State Department contractor. Kim has been charged under the Espionage Act, and has pleaded not guilty. A grand jury indicted him in August 2010, but details of the investigation only recently became public, after the Associated Press revealed that the Justice Department had been conducting electronic surveillance on as many as 100 of its reporters as part of an unrelated probe.

Update: A New York Times report contradicts the statements provided to The Wall Street Journal by its quoted Fox News official. News Corporation, Fox's parent company, told the Times today that it had no record of being notified by the Department of Justice about the probe of Fox's reporter, James Rosen. News Corp's chief legal counsel also told the Times that he had never seen a notification from the government about the subpoena. "While we don't take issue with the DOJ's account that they sent a notice to News Corp, we do not have a record of ever having received it," the spokesman told the Times.