House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) suggested yesterday that journalist Glenn Greenwald is a “thief” who deserves to be jailed for reporting on the NSA documents leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden.
Rep. Rogers tried to coerce James Comey, the head of the FBI, into saying that reporting on the NSA leaks is the same thing as “fencing stolen material" (video below).
“If you’re a newspaper reporter and you’re hawking stolen jewelry, it’s still a crime,” Comey replied, but noted that journalism would be a “harder question.”
“For personal gain, he’s now selling his access to information, that’s how they’re terming it…. A thief selling stolen material is a thief," Rep. Rogers told Politico.com on Tuesday after the hearing.
The New York Post notes that Rep. Rogers did not refer to Greenwald by name, but the journalist denied that he had sold any NSA documents, but is paid for writing articles just like any other professional journalist.
“I’m never selling documents,” Greenwald told Politico.com. “I don’t get money and give them documents, like, ‘Hey, nice doing business with you.’”
“Any journalist who reports on top-secret documents is necessarily getting paid. If you’re going to characterize that as selling documents, you’re necessarily criminalizing journalism,” added Greenwald.