AP CEO to speak on seizure of AP phone records, the way forward

June 12, 2013
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AP President and CEO Gary Pruitt
Associated Press President and CEO Gary Pruitt will outline ways to protect newsgathering against government interference, in the wake of the Department of Justice’s sweeping seizure of AP phone records, in a speech on June 19 at the National Press Club in Washington.

Pruitt’s speech, set for 1 p.m., comes a month after AP revealed that the Justice Department had obtained records of the work and personal phone numbers of individual AP reporters, general AP office numbers in New York, Washington and Hartford, Conn., and the main number for AP reporters in the House of Representatives press gallery. In all, the government gathered records for 21 phone lines assigned to AP and its journalists in April and May of 2012.

Pruitt, a First Amendment lawyer, decried the action as a "massive and unprecedented intrusion" into how news organizations gather the news and later, on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” he called the Justice Department's move "unconstitutional." The department had informed the AP of its action on May 10.

Though the government has not specified why it sought the records. U.S. officials had previously testified that the U.S. attorney in Washington is investigating who may have leaked information contained in a May 7, 2012, AP story about a foiled terror plot. The AP reported on a CIA operation in Yemen that derailed an al-Qaeda plot in the spring of 2012 to detonate a bomb on a U.S.-bound airplane.

The luncheon begins at 12:30 with Pruitt’s remarks due to begin at 1 p.m., followed by a question and answer session. The event ends at 2 p.m.

Tickets may be purchased online at http://bit.ly/17Fmwns. For further information, call the National Press Club at 202-662-7501 or email reservations@press.org.

About AP
The Associated Press is the essential global news network, delivering fast, unbiased news from every corner of the world to all media platforms and formats. Founded in 1846, AP today is the most trusted source of independent news and information. On any given day, more than half the world's population sees news from AP. On the Web: www.ap.org.

Contact
Paul Colford
Director of Media Relations
The Associated Press
212-621-1895
pcolford@ap.org
 
Erin Madigan White
Media Relations Manager
The Associated Press
212-621-7005
emadigan@ap.org

Melinda Cooke
Director, Membership
National Press Club
202-662-7516
mcooke@press.org

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