One of the journalists
at the heart of the Justice Department
's effort to obtain journalists' email and phone records described the former administration's assault
on the First Amendment
“I am genuinely horrified by what occurred,” CNN
journalist Barbara Starr
wrote in an opinion piece published on the network’s website on Monday.
“All of this is, in my opinion, a blatant abuse of power, first against CNN and myself, because our work is and should always be protected by the First Amendment,” Starr added. “But, more importantly and significantly, it is an abuse against the free press in this country, whether you are a television
network correspondent or a reporter at a small-town newspaper uncovering wrongdoing.”
Starr, CNN's Pentagon correspondent for the past 20 years, spoke out in response to revelations that former President Donald Trump
's Justice Department secretly obtained subpoenas for information from Starr, reporters from The New York Times
and The Washington Post
, and House Intelligence Committee Democrats
, their staff, and families.
Starr claimed she had no idea there were secret court proceedings against her in 2020 until a gag order was lifted last May, at which point she learned that the DOJ had initially requested metadata from more than 30,000 of her emails and phone records — both professional and personal — from 2017.
In an interview
that aired on Monday, Starr stated that neither she nor CNN knew why Justice Department officials were looking for her emails.
“They wanted everything, and I wasn’t even allowed to know about it,” she explained, referring to the court’s secrecy.
In the future, Starr wants strict legal barriers to prevent such actions.
“Let’s make it very clear in the law
,” she suggested.