Two Democratic lawmakers are urging the Biden administration to end the practice of searching journalists’ phone records to try to identify their sources, citing the recent revelation that the Trump Justice Department secretly subpoenaed the records of three Washington Post reporters.
Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Rep. Jamie B. Raskin (D-Md.) wrote to Attorney General Merrick Garland on Tuesday urging him to end the investigative practice that has occurred in both Republican and Democratic administrations.
“Now that most Americans carry always-on, always-recording smartphones, the government prefers to go to telecommunications companies, hoping that records of calls and texts might reveal the source,” the lawmakers wrote. “While certainly more convenient for the government, using subpoenas and surveillance orders to pry into a journalists’ communications history is no less invasive and destructive than forcing a journalist to reveal their source.”