Why did the Obama administration spy on the Associated Press?

The Justice Department collected two months' worth of reporters' phone records

Attorney General Eric Holder has been accused of spying on the Associated Press.
(Image credit: Getty Images/Chip Somodevilla)

The Associated Press on Monday revealed that the Department of Justice had secretly spied on AP reporters, obtaining two months' worth of telephone records in what was most likely an attempt to crack down on internal leaks.

According to the AP, the Justice Department acquired records for more than 20 different phone lines associated with the news agency — including reporters' cell, office, and home lines — that could affect more than 100 staffers. Calling the move a "massive and unprecedented intrusion," AP President and Chief Executive Officer Gary Pruitt demanded that the DOJ explain why it had gone after the records. He also insisted that the government return the phone records and destroy all other copies of them.

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