FBI Raid on ABC News Bigshot Producer Wasn’t Tied to His Work

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FBI Raid on ABC News Bigshot Producer Wasn’t Tied to His Work


In this week’s edition of Confider, we reveal how the story about an ABC News reporter being raided by the FBI is far murkier than it first seemed.

Lachlan Cartwright

Editor At Large

Updated Oct. 24, 2022 6:05PM ET / Published Oct. 24, 2022 5:44PM ET 

Listen to article5 minutes

This reporting appears as one of several scoops featured in this week’s edition of Confider, the newsletter pulling back the curtain on the media. Subscribe here and send your questions, tips, and complaints here.

Rolling Stone’s big scoop last week, headlined “FBI Raids Star ABC News Producer’s Home,” read like a Tom Clancy thriller and raised serious concerns that the feds raided a journalist over his work.


However, there’s more to the story than meets the eye, ABC reporters, producers, and executives told Confider.

The article opened with a dramatic retelling of the April raid on ABC News investigative producer James Gordon Meek’s Arlington apartment, complete with quotes from a “self-described police-vehicle historian” neighbor and a claim that the feds had found “classified information” on his laptop.

“Independent observers believe the raid is among the first—and quite possibly, the first—to be carried out on a journalist by the Biden administration,” the magazine reported.

Inside ABC News, however, staffers were baffled by this framing, since Meek resigned from the network via email on April 27—the same day as the raid—citing “personal reasons” and told friends it was to “save colleagues and the company any embarrassment,” according to two people familiar with the situation.

Although the FBI declined to comment on the probe, the DOJ was more forthcoming, suggesting in a statement to Confider that the raid was not actually about Meek’s reporting work, despite what the Rolling Stone article seemed to indicate. “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,” wrote Dena Iverson, principal deputy director in the DOJ’s Office of Public Affairs.

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