Feds Took Reporter's Notes During Unrelated Search, After They Spotted Documents She Had Obtained Via FOIA
from the weak-excuses dept
Hudson claims that the search concerning her husband was nothing more than a ruse to uncover details of government sources she had quoted in a recent article about Air Marshals. While not definitive, there appear to be an awful lot of coincidences that lead to the seizure of her documents. First, one of the people on the "search" was with the Coast Guard Investigative Services, and the Federal Air Marshals are a part of the Coast Guard. Admittedly, Hudson's husband, Flanagan, works for the Coast Guard. However, the investigator who did the search asked Hudson if she had authored that particular article, so he was well aware of it going in. Furthermore, the search warrant was just about guns, so it seems odd that they'd go searching her computer. On top of that, the "excuse" given by the Coast Guard after all of this is incredibly flimsy:
"In the course of a joint Federal & Maryland State Police investigation, a lawful search warrant was served on August 6, 2013 in Shadyside, MD. The Coast Guard Investigative Service (CGIS) was asked to participate since the search involved a Coast Guard employee. During the course of the search, the CGIS agent discovered government documents labeled FOUO - For Official Use Only (FOUO) and LES - Law Enforcement Sensitive. The files that contained these documents were cataloged on the search warrant inventory and taken from the premises. The documents were reviewed with the source agency and determined to be obtained properly through the Freedom of Information Act. The CG employee was notified that the documents were cleared and the CG employee picked them up after signing for the documents."Basically, for no clear reason, they decided that even though they were looking for guns, they would start rifling through her documents, and then seize them, even though they had been obtained through perfectly legal means. It is entirely possible that this was all coincidental, but it certainly would seem to create some fairly significantly chilling effects, yet again, for reporters.