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FOX News reporter accused of leaking classified information

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WASHINGTON -

The White House says it has a responsibility to protect secrets, but First Amendment advocates say this latest disclosure shows that the administration has, once again,  crossed the line.

It sounds like movie "Spycraft."

Using pass card data, federal investigators tracked the comings and goings of FOX news correspondent James Rosen at the U.S. State Department -- they secretly obtained copies of his personal emails from a Google Gmail account.

All to build a case against his source at the State Department who now faces charges for leaking information.

But Rosen, too, faced accusations... In a federal affidavit, an FBI agent said Rosen acted -quote - "at the very least, either as an aider, abettor and/or co-conspirator."

Coming on the heels of another Justice Department leak investigation that widely ensnared the phone records of Associated Press reporters, the White House offered only a carefully worded explanation saying the president supports a free press but Press Secretary Jay Carney says, "We take very seriously the leaks of classified information."

But Rosen was, by all indications, simply cultivating a source and requesting information about U-S intelligence -- and the episode drew a stinging response from FOX's Brit Hume.

"Oh heaven forbid.  The President and his Attorney General can recite all of the platitudes they like about their respect for press freedom and the need for investigative reporting, but this FBI affidavit contradicts them all," said Hume.

 FOX's executive vice president of news, Michael Clemente issued this statement:

"We are outraged to learn today that James Rosen was named a criminal co-conspirator for simply doing his job as a reporter.  In fact, it is downright chilling. We will unequivocally defend his right to operate as a member of what up until now has always been a free press."

Stephen Kim, the alleged State Department source, is awaiting trial.  At this time, no charges have been filed against Rosen.


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