Will NYT’s James Risen go to Jail?

Last Friday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the fourth Circuit rejected New York Times reporter James Risen’s claim of reporter’s privilege in United States v. Sterling. The underlying case is a federal prosecution of a former CIA official for allegedly disclosing classified information in violation of the Espionage Act. The federal government believes Sterling gave information to Risen, who subsequently published some of the material. A federal district court judge had quashed the federal government’s effort to subpoena Risen and force him to testify, but on Friday a divided panel of the Fourth Circuit reversed, holding that the federal government could indeed force Risen to testify. According to the Court, the First Amendment does not protect a reporter from having to reveal his sources (though Congress could well enact such protections).

For more on the decision, see Lawfare, Jost on Justice, Politico’s Josh Gerstein, and (of course) the New York Times.

UPDATE: Kenneth Jost, Randall Eliason, and Ted Boutros discussed the case on HuffPostLive.

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