Over 50 American media companies sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder Tuesday condemning the Justice Department’s subpoena of Associated Press phone records.
Sent from the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press office in Arlington, Virginia, the letter urged Holder and his deputy James Cole to enact a federal shield law "to protect reporters and their news gathering materials in a court of law where the adversarial process ensures a fair weighing of the issues."
The Department of Justice revealed Monday that it had seized two months' worth of the AP's phone records as part of an investigation into press leaks.
NBCUniversal, ABC, CNN, the Washington Post, the New York Times Company, Time Inc., Dow Jones, the First Amendment Coalition, and the National Press Club are among the letter's signers.
The letter reads:
The letter also repeated the AP’s request that the DOJ return the records and destroy all other copies of them.
It crossed Holder's desk as the AG appeared before the House Judiciary to answer "pointed questions" on both the AP and IRS targeting scandals.