The Washington Times and one of its former reporters, Audrey Hudson, sued the Department of Homeland Security on Thursday, accusing federal agents of illegally seizing the newspaper’s reporting materials during the execution of a search warrant in an unrelated case.
In a motion filed in federal court, the plaintiffs asked a judge to force the federal agency to return all reporting files and documents it seized from Hudson’s home office during a raid in early August.
"The newspaper alleged that federal agents accompanying Maryland State Police on the raid took materials from Ms. Hudson’s office that were not covered by the search warrant that authorized the collection solely of evidence about guns and a potato launcher allegedly possessed by her husband, Paul Flanagan," Times reporter Kellan Howell explained.
The newspaper has “substantial reason to believe that the information contained in the five file folders seized from Hudson’s home office has been disseminated to or within” multiple federal agencies, the Times filing alleged. The filing also emphasized how sensitive information in Hudson’s seized files were, noting that they contained information directly from confidential sources and a memo from Hudson to an editor outlining her concern that some of her sources were being retaliated against by Homeland Security.