Solomon on Gertz: “We applaud Bill for standing up and asserting his constitutional privileges”

Below is an internal email, obtained by FishbowlDC, sent from Washington Times Executive Editor Bill Solomon to staffers today:

    Folks,

    I’m glad to report that a federal judge today ruled in favor of Bill Gertz and the First Amendment in declining to force Bill to divulge his sources in a two-year-old Chinese espionage story.

    We applaud Bill for standing up and asserting his constitutional privileges, reinforcing all of our First Amendment rights to report the news. Today’s ruling is an important victory for our entire industry, the first in a long time to recognize a reporter’s rights to keep confidential sources.

    While today’s news is very positive, Bill is not yet out of harm’s way. The Justice Department has indicated it may seek to serve him with a grand jury subpoena to compel him to testify.

    We hope the Justice Department follows the judge’s lead today and recognizes the important First Amendment right in allowing reporters to have confidential sources so that Americans can get important news on issues like national security from good reporters like Bill Gertz.

    John Solomon
    July 24, 2008