Federal investigators spied extensively on New York Times reporter James Risen in their effort to discover who leaked details to him of the CIA's attempt to pass faulty nuclear information to Iran. The depth of this spying was revealed yesterday, in the criminal trial of his alleged source, former CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling, Politico reports. A defense motion revealed that investigators had spied on Risen’s bank and credit records, and gathered info on his phone calls and travel plans.
“Maybe I should ask them what my credit score is,” Risen quipped. He said he didn’t find the revelations shocking, but did feel the government had crossed the line. “We’ve argued that I was the victim of harassment by the government. This seems to bolster that,” he says. Risen’s 2006 book State of War contained details about a botched CIA plan to feed faulty nuclear blueprints to Iran. First Amendment activists argue that the government’s tactics could have exposed many of Risen’s sources unrelated to the case. (Read more CIA stories.)