Although anti-Wikileaks crusader Sen. Joe Lieberman said yesterday that the New York Times’ publishing of the leaked cables “bears a very intensive inquiry by the Justice Department,” the Times says no such inquiry is, to their knowledge, taking place.
“The New York Times has not been contacted by anyone in law enforcement,” a spokeswoman tells TPM.
The DOJ, which is investigating the leak, did not return a request for comment, but generally does not comment on current investigations.
Yesterday Lieberman, the chair of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, said the Times is guilty of “at least an act of bad citizenship” by publishing diplomatic cables leaked by Wikileaks. He suggested they and other news outlets may have broken other laws, noting that such accusations are “sensitive” because of the First Amendment.
“We believe that our decision to publish was responsible journalism, legal, and important to a democratic society,” the Times spokeswoman said.
Lieberman said he believes that Wikileaks, and specifically its founder Julian Assange, has broken the Espionage Act and should be charged and extradited to the United States. He also suggested that Assange, an Australian citizen, could be charged with treason.