Justice Department’s silent seizure of Times reporter’s, Ali Watkins, phone, email records, has been just uncovered by the U.S. Senate on Wednesday.

As a part of strictly confidential investigation over the leaking of extremely classified government information, the U.S. Department of Justice had been obtaining communication records of Ali Watkins, a former aide at the Senate Intelligence Committee.

The communication records being tracked by the department included the former Times reporter’s personal data like phone as well as email histories for years up to November 2017. Ali was untold about the secret investigation, which was following her since before her joining with the Times as reporter.

On late Thursday, the former US Senate staffer, working for longer time, was arrested with the charges of reclining to the government agents during the investigation aimed at unauthorized revelation of the private information, as reported by a government indictment.

Mark J. MacDougall, lawyer of Ali Watkins stated that, “It’s always disconcerting when a journalist’s telephone records are obtained by the Justice Department—through a grand jury subpoena or other legal process.”

Democrat of Virginia and Vice Chairman Mark Warner along with Senate Intelligence Chairman, Republican of North Carolina, Richard Burr said that, “While the charges do not appear to include anything related to the mishandling of classified information, the Committee takes this matter extremely seriously. We were made aware of the investigation late last year, and have fully cooperated with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Justice since then.”



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