Biden Nominee Secretly Investigated Journalist Over Stolen Diary

 May 25, 2024

Judge Sarah Netburn, nominated by President Joe Biden for a federal judicial position, faces intense scrutiny amid her confirmation hearings.

The firestorm centers on her decision, made years earlier, to secretly tap into a journalist's emails concerning a diary owned by Ashley Biden, The Daily Wire reported.

The Circumstances Surrounding the Inquiry

Before being spotlighted for a lifetime appointment, Judge Sarah Netburn issued a controversial directive compelling Google to surrender details from a journalist's email. This journalist had links to Project Veritas, an investigative organization that eventually decided against publishing the diary's contentious information.

The matter of Ashley Biden's diary, filled with personal entries about her struggles and familial interactions, morphed into a federal case under the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. In 2020, under President Trump's term, but after Joe Biden's electoral win, Judge Netburn ruled in a manner affecting First Amendment rights, which included a non-disclosure order to Google.

Judge Netburn's secretive actions have resurfaced in her confirmation hearings, generating debates about possible partisanship in her judicial reasoning. The probe only became public knowledge following her nomination by President Biden.

Intense Response from Various Quarters

Accusations of partisanship are now coloring the congressional hearings on Judge Netburn's fitness for office. Her decisions have faced condemnation from Republican senators and civil liberties advocates, reflecting a stark divide in opinions about her qualifications.

The broader implications of Netburn's rulings also impacted other technology heavyweights like Apple and Microsoft, with subsequent court orders building on her precedent. These actions suggest a significant ripple effect extending beyond the initial scope of investigation.

Statements and Political Reactions

In her judicial order, Sarah Netburn emphasized that the information extracted was critical for an unfolding criminal investigation. Meanwhile, lawyers representing Project Veritas countered, asserting that First Amendment rights shielded the activities under scrutiny. They argued there was no crime, just protected journalistic work.

According to Mike Davis, from the judicial oversight group Article III Project, "Sarah Netburn has proven she doesn't have the necessary judgeship or independence to serve on the federal bench for the rest of her life. That's probably why Joe Biden picked her."

From the opposite perspective, through Deputy Press Secretary Andrew Bates, Biden's administration claimed ignorance of such warrants and denied any political motivations in Judge Netburn's actions.

Personal Impact on Ashley Biden

Ashley Biden herself has publicly acknowledged the diary's authenticity, noting the personal turmoil the theft and subsequent events have caused. In a court statement, she pressed for stringent penalties for those involved in violating her privacy.

I ask Your Honor to sentence Ms. Harris to time in prison followed by lengthy probation," Ashley Biden remarked in her victim impact statement, highlighting her desire for justice.

Earlier this month, justice was partially served when two individuals were legally penalized for involvement with the diary.

As the confirmation proceedings for Judge Sarah Netburn progress, the intertwined issues of judicial discretion, privacy rights, and political implications continue to stir public and political debate. The scrutiny over her past decisions, particularly this high-profile case involving journalistic inquiry and personal privacy, underscores modern judiciary nominees' complex challenges.

About Victor Winston

Victor is a freelance writer and researcher who focuses on national politics, geopolitics, and economics.

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