When the FBI raided the home of Tampa journalist Tim Burke earlier this month, seizing electronic equipment and turning the house upside down, observers were left both horrified and stunned.
But Tampa Bay Times Friday provided a key piece of the puzzle, reporting in a bombshell story that the raids were related to a criminal investigation into possible “hacking” at Fox News that resulted in the embarrassing video of Tucker Carlson obtained by Vice News and Media Matters for America. it was done. ,
The Vice story included damaging fallout from Kanye West’s since-fired host’s interview, which included wildly antisemitic rants that Carlson had edited from his show. MMFA’s coverage includes a drip-feed of behind-the-scenes clips including Carlson asking Piers Morgan about sexual techniques, Fox trashing its own streaming service, and “pre-menopausal” fans and pillow fights. He is shown making scathing comments about women.
The FBI executed a search warrant in the early hours of May 8 at Burke’s home with that of his wife, Tampa City Councilwoman Lynn Hartak. Burke, who served as director of video for The Daily Beast from July 2018 to April 2019, now runs a media and political consulting firm called Burke Communications. He was one of the former Deadspin reporters who broke the Manti Te’o girlfriend hoax in 2013.
Hurtak later said that the sudden raid was related to her husband’s “work as a journalist”. Burke also told Tampa Bay Times At the time it was his name on the warrant but he had no idea what it was about.
on Friday, Tampa Bay Times reported that they got their hands on a letter sent to Fox News by Jay Trezvant, assistant US attorney of Tampa, about a federal investigation into allegations of unauthorized computer access, wire hacks, conspiracy, and other federal crimes related to the Vice and MMFA articles has been told about.
While Burke was not mentioned in the letter, times Two sources confirmed that it was related to the Burke raid. Trezevant is also listed in court filings in the Burke case.
The letter did not specify how the investigation was progressing, or exactly who was being investigated. But, as The Daily Beast’s Confider reported last October, Fox News executives went into “full-on freak out” mode following the Vice leak and are working hard to find the “mole” responsible. . The company had also sent a fiery legal letter to the MMFA earlier this month, demanding that it stop airing videos that were “illegally obtained”.
In his letter, Trezevant referred to Fox News as one of the “potential victim-witnesses” of the criminal investigation, and he asked the company to preserve information and records related to the investigation for at least 90 days. Is.
Fox News, Burke, MMFA and Vice did not immediately respond to The Daily Beast’s requests for comment on Friday. times Friday reported that, when it contacted Burke, he read parts of the letter before speaking to his attorney who said he could not comment.
Trezevant’s letter states that Vice News and MMFA are not accused of any wrongdoing, nor are any Fox News employees or affiliates. Instead, the investigation is looking for illegal conduct “by other subjects,” it says.
The letter, the Burke search warrant, and other materials have not been made public, and prosecutors on Thursday asked a judge to seal a probable cause affidavit in the Burke case.
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