Associated Press President Gary Pruitt says the Justice Department sent a strong – and negative — message to future sources that the government would go after them if they spoke to the press. It’s a move Pruitt called not only unconstitutional, but damaging to the ideal of a free press in the country in his first television interviews on the scandal Sunday.
In a separate interview with the AP, Pruitt said, “It’s too early to know if we’ll take legal action but I can tell you we are positively displeased and we do feel that our constitutional rights have been violated.”
He said President Obama “should rein in that out-of-control investigation.”
“They’ve been secretive, they’ve been overbroad and abusive — so much so that taken together, they are unconstitutional because they violate our First Amendment rights,” he added.
Although the Justice Department has not explained why it sought phone records from the AP, Pruitt pointed to a May 7, 2012, story that disclosed details of a successful CIA operation in Yemen to…