The Justice Department informed three journalists that it probed their contacts during the height of the Trump-Russia saga.

The logo for the Washington Post is displayed outside of its offices on May 1, 2009 in Washington, D.C. | Alex Wong/Getty Images


05/07/2021 08:10 PM EDT

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The Justice Department obtained call records for the phones of three Washington Post reporters last year in an apparent bid to discover the sources for a 2017 story detailing a sensitive aspect of the federal investigation into alleged ties between the Trump campaign and Russia, the newspaper said Friday.

Federal investigators used court orders to obtain so-called toll records on phones used by a trio of Post reporters who worked on a July 2017 story about intelligence intercepts indicating that Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak told superiors he discussed issues related to Russia with then-Trump campaign adviser Jeff Sessions during the 2016 presidential race, according to the Post.

Such intercepts are considered signals intelligence and are typically treated as highly classified. At his confirmation hearing for attorney general, Sessions denied ever meeting the ambassador during the campaign, but later acknowledged the encounters while denying Kislyak’s reported accounts of the meetings.

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