Appeals Court: No Source Protection in Criminal Case

A journalist who disclosed details of a secret CIA operation cannot shield his source when he testifies at the trial of a former federal agent charged with leaking classified information, a divided U.S. appeals court ruled Friday. The 2-1 ruling by a panel of the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel reversed a lower court decision that the reporter could be questioned about the accuracy of his journalism but could not be forced to divulge confidential sources. The appeals court said source protection might be OK for a civil trial but not a criminal case, the Associated Press reports. Attorneys for the journalist Jeffrey Sterling say the case is about fundamental First Amendment rights and likely will be appealed. Read the AP story in the Chattanooga Times Free Press.