Chilling: Reporter's confidential notes seized in firearms raid by Feds
A free lance investigative journalist who used to work for the Washington Times where she reported critically and extensively on the air marshal service was the subject of a raid by state and federal authorities in August for ostensibly keeping illegal firearms on the premises.
That is yet to be determined. But it's what wasn't in the search warrant but was seized anyway were the reporter's confidential notes that revealed sources inside the Department of Homeland Security and elsewhere in government.
In an interview with The Daily Caller, journalist Audrey Hudson revealed that the Department of Homeland Security and Maryland State Police were involved in a predawn raid of her Shady Side, Md. home on Aug. 6. Hudson is a former Washington Times reporter and current freelance reporter.
A search warrant obtained by TheDC indicates that the August raid allowed law enforcement to search for firearms inside her home.
The document notes that her husband, Paul Flanagan, pleaded guilty in 1986 to resisting arrest in Prince George's County. The warrant called for police to search the residence they share and seize all weapons and ammunition because he is prohibited under the law from possessing firearms.
But without Hudson's knowledge, the agents also confiscated a batch of documents that contained information about sources inside the Department of Homeland Security and the Transportation Security Administration, she said.
Outraged over the seizure, Hudson is now speaking out. She said no subpoena for the notes was presented during the raid and argues the confiscation was outside of the search warrant's parameter.
"They took my notes without my knowledge and without legal authority to do so," Hudson said this week. "The search warrant they presented said nothing about walking out of here with a single sheet of paper."
She provided TheDC with a photo showing the stack of file folders in a bag marked "evidence/property."
Hudson wrote a series of articles a few years ago on the air marshal service and how DHS officials had lied to Congress about how many planes the marshals were protecting. This didn't sit well with one of the Coast Guard cops who was part of the raid:
After the search began, Hudson said she was asked by an investigator with the Coast Guard Investigative Service if she was the same Audrey Hudson who had written a series of critical stories about air marshals for The Washington Times over the last decade. The Coast Guard operates under the Department of Homeland Security.
Hudson said that investigator, Miguel Bosch, identified himself as a former air marshal official.
But it wasn't until a month later, on Sept. 10, that Hudson was informed by Bosch that five files including her handwritten and typed notes from interviews with numerous confidential sources and other documents had been taken during the raid.
"In particular, the files included notes that were used to expose how the Federal Air Marshal Service had lied to Congress about the number of airline flights there were actually protecting against another terrorist attack," Hudson wrote in a summary about the raid provided to TheDC.
She said she asked Bosch why they took the files. He responded that they needed to run them by TSA to make sure it was "legitimate" for her to have them.
"'Legitimate' for me to have my own notes?" she said incredulously on Wednesday.
The law is specific; evidence of an unrelated crime to the search warrant must be in plain sight for investigators to seize them. How the Coast Guard investigator could see what was in the notes without rifling through them is a mystery.
There is a war on journalists being waged by government. It doesn't matter if they're liberal or conservative, only that what they publish displeases someone in Washington.
This from a CNN reporter:
On Wednesday morning, CNN Newsroom anchor Carol Costello made a rather stunning, if cryptic, revelation. In discussing the firing of national security official Jofi Joseph, Costello agreed with panelist Jason Johnson that the Obama administration can be thin-skinned, and said that "President Obama's people can be quite nasty. They don't like you to say anything bad about their boss, and they're not afraid to use whatever means they have at hand to stop you from doing that, including threatening your job."
Johnson's reaction to the firing was that "we had to see more of the tweets. It's kind of inappropriate, so I can understand him being fired. But the Obama administration is very thin-skinned." (HT/ Ed lasky)
Journalists in Chicago routinely put up with this sort of thing from Democratic politicians. It goes with the territory. It shouldn't shock us, then, that these tactics have migrated to Washington with President Obama.