WUSA reporter Bruce Johnson is concerned his sources may not pick up the phone after it was revealed the FBI had recorded his communication with now-disgraced Washington, D.C. councilman Michael Brown.
“I’m not going to be surprised if I call someone at some point in the near future and they say ‘I can’t talk to you because the FBI might be listening,’” Johnson told reporter Bruce Leshan, a colleague at the Washington, D.C. CBS affiliate. “Bottom line, of course it’s unsettling when you get a call saying the FBI has heard part of your conversation.”
Johnson was told by an email from the U.S. Attorney’s office that “wire and/or electronic communications to or from your telephone were intercepted.” You can watch the video report after the jump.
“Not only does it have an impact on our ability to get the hard-to-get story,” Johnson said. “It has an impact on those people who want the real information and the truth out.”
Brown has since pleaded guilty to bribery after accepting $55,000 in cash payments from undercover FBI agents.
Here’s the station’s report:
WUSA posted a statement from the U.S. attorney’s office explaining that the recordings of Johnson and Brown are now sealed and won’t likely be used again:
Here’s a statement from the US Attorney’s Office: “As has been widely reported, during the investigation which led to former Council Member Michael A. Brown’s conviction on a bribery charge, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia authorized the interception of wire and electronic communications on two cell phones used by Mr. Brown during the relevant time period.
“Thus, some communications between Mr. Brown and individuals not otherwise connected to the government’s investigation were intercepted. Significantly, law enforcement utilized procedures to minimize and reduce to the smallest possible number the amount of innocent and non-pertinent communications that were intercepted between individuals and the target of its investigations.
“The government, as it does in all of its Title III investigations, recently provided notice to individuals who were named in the court orders authorizing interceptions or whose communications with Mr. Brown were intercepted during the course of its investigation. The contents of those intercepted communications will remain sealed, will not be used for any other purpose, and are not anticipated to result in any additional charges against Mr. Brown or anyone else.”