“Ali [Watkins] had all her material just grabbed,” Jordan (R-Ohio) told CNN’s “New Day” on Thursday. “It is not supposed to work that way. That is not how the First Amendment operates. And my concern is we’ve seen so many encroachments on our liberties from the government.”
That Watkins’ online materials were the subject of a government seizure without her knowledge marked a rare step for federal prosecutors, who generally seek information from journalists only as a last resort and then typically do so only after negotiating with the reporter about the scope of the request, so as to protect sources and newsgathering methods.
Jordan appeared Thursday morning with one of the shield law’s cosponsors, Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), an odd-couple pairing given the former’s arch-conservative views and the latter’s position as a staunch liberal. Both expressed optimism that their legislation could pass the House, where similar bills have succeeded before by wide margins.