The head of the House Intelligence Committee Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI) has lashed out at one of the key journalists publishing stories about the documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. While not mentioning him by name, Rogers basically calls The Guardian's Glen Greenwald a thief, implying that he is committing some sort of crime and is selling the documents leaked by Edward Snowden. You may recall that Greenwald was one of the first journalists to break the story about Edward Snowden and his cache of NSA-related documents and materials..
"For personal gain, he’s now selling his access to information, that’s how they’re terming it," Rogers told Politico in a conversation after a hearing held by his committee earlier today. "A thief selling stolen material is a thief."
Rogers was referring to Glenn Greenwald, although he didn't say his name. Rogers told the political news publication that he had received information that Greenwald was charging for stories from "other nations' press services."
Responding via Twitter, Greenwald described the claims being made by Rogers as an attempt to intimidate journalists who cover national security.
"The main value in bandying about theories of prosecuting journalists is the hope that it will bolster the climate of fear for journalism," he wrote.
Greenwald says that the arrangements that Rogers is speaking of are standard freelancing agreements in which he's paid for his input with the stories. Speaking to Politico after the hearing, Greenwald denied that he has ever "sold documents."
During the hearing, Rogers grilled FBI Director James Comey to describe Greenwald's actions (who, again he did not name) as criminal.
"To the best of your knowledge, fencing stolen material — is that a crime?" Rogers asked Comey.
"It would be," Comey said. He added that it would be "complicated" if the person they are talking about was a journalist writing a news story because of "First Amendment implications."
Comey continued: "If you’re a newspaper reporter and you’re hawking stolen jewelry, it’s still a crime," but a journalist selling access to information would be a "harder question."