FBI raid at home of ABC journalist James Gordon Meek was not linked to his job, report claims

Despite initial reports the producer had ‘vanished,’ ABC News sources say he’s living with his mother

Graig Graziosi
Wednesday 26 October 2022 20:34 BST
James Gordon Meek is interviewed on the Reel Talker YouTube channel
James Gordon Meek is interviewed on the Reel Talker YouTube channel (Screenshot / YouTube / Reel Talker)

After FBI agents raided the home of ABC News producer James Gordon Meek’s home last spring, a report in Rolling Stone floated the possibility that the sweep could have been related to his work as a journalist.

However, new information reported by The Daily Beast suggests the raid was unrelated to his journalistic pursuits.

Mr Meek’s home was raided by the FBI, but the agency’s reasons for the search were unknown to the public. According to Rolling Stone, "independent observers believe the raid is among the first — and quite posible, the first — to be carried out on a journalist by the Biden administration."

ABC News officials were reportedly baffled by this framing, as they told The Daily Beast that Mr Meek resigned on 27 April, the same day the FBI raided his home. According to ABC News sources, he cited "personal reasons" for his resignation, and reportedly told his friends it was to "save colleagues and the company embarrassment."

The US Department of Justice confirmed that the raid was not focused on Mr Meek’s work without divulging why his home was targeted.

“While the department cannot speak to any specific case or activity, the Department strictly adheres to the Attorney General’s July 2021 memorandum prohibiting the use of compulsory process with regards to members of the news media acting within the scope of newsgathering activities,” Dena Iverson, principal deputy director in the DOJ’s Office of Public Affairs, told The Daily Beast.

ABC insiders told the outlet that if the raid had been focused on his work as a journalist, he would almost certainly have sought defense through the organisation’s legal counsel.

Typically, when journalists are targeted with lawsuits stemming from their reporting, the legal arm of the news organisation employing them will come to their defense. This prevents the wealthy and powerful from stifling journalists’ reporting by providing an institutional legal defense. This ensures individual reporters aren’t intimidated into silence or bankrupted trying to defend themselves in court.

Thus far, Mr Meek has not been charged with a crime, and ABC News has not pursued further reporting on the matter.

Further adding to the confusion is a claim in the Rolling Stone report that Mr Meeks had "vanished" after the raid. ABC insiders told The Daily Beast that he was living with his mother after leaving his home.

It is still unclear as to why the FBI raided Mr Meek’s home.

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