In an evening press release, the National Press Club issued a request to the Obama Administration to publicly explain the reasons why the DOJ secretly obtained the phone records of AP reporters.

“This appears to be a gross violation of press freedom,” said National Press Club President Angela Greiling Keane, a Bloomberg News reporter. “If there’s a good explanation for this, the public has a right to hear it promptly.”

In a May 10 letter, DOJ told AP that last year it had obtained two months of personal and professional phone records for AP reporters working the House Press Galleries as well as AP bureaus in Washington, New York, and Hartford.