Justice Department won’t ask James Risen to testify

January 12, 2015

New York Times | The Washington Post

New York Times reporter James Risen, who has waged a protracted and public battle with the Justice Department over the identity of a confidential source, will not be compelled to testify in a leak trial, Matt Apuzzo reported for The New York Times Monday.

The news effectively ends “a seven-year legal fight” between Risen and prosecutors, who first called Risen to testify in 2008 in the case of former CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling, The Times reports. Sterling is accused of feeding Risen information about a botched U.S. attempt to sabotage Iran’s nuclear program for his book “State of War,” according to The Washington Post.

During the tumult of Risen’s legal battle, the embattled reporter publicly decried the Obama administration, calling it “the greatest enemy of press freedom that we have encountered in at least a generation.” In December, The Washington Post reported that Attorney General Eric Holder would not compel Risen to reveal his source.

In June, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to consider a request made by Risen and other news organizations to grant journalists legal protection when asked to reveal confidential sources. After the court’s decision, Risen told Poynter in a statement he wasn’t giving up.

“I will continue to fight,” he said.