Ashcroft Aide: Reporter Subpoenas “Reckless Power Abuse”


Subpoenas issued to reporters for The San Francisco Chronicle were criticized by Mark Corallo, a former spokesman for Attorney General John Ashcroft as a “reckless abuse of power,” says the New York Times. In an affidavit filed in federal court, Corallo said Ashcroft’s successor, Alberto Gonzales, had acted improperly in issuing the subpoenas. “This is the most reckless abuse of power I have seen in years,” Corallo told the Times. “They really should be ashamed of themselves.”

The subpoenas, part of an effort to identify the Chronicle’s sources for coverage of steroid use in baseball, would not have been authorized by Ashcroft, Corallo said. “You just don’t ride roughshod over the rights of reporters to gather information from confidential sources,” he said. Brian Roehrkasse, a Justice Department spokesman, said subpoenas are “handled consistent with Justice Department guidelines and on a case-by-case basis on facts specific to the case that only those in the Justice Department would be aware of.”


Comments are closed.