The Press: Freedom to Probe

A court battle over pretrial publicity and the protection of newsmen's sources was avoided last week because of Spiro Agnew's resignation. The subpoenas that had been issued to journalists became moot. The basic issues, however, remain very much alive.

In a memorandum filed with the federal district court in Maryland before the resignation, the Justice Department—some of whose officials had also been subpoenaed by Agnew's attorneys—set forth some stinging arguments against this kind of judicial interference. The department pointed out that "publicity about the criminal investigation of any newsworthy person is all too likely, and some of that publicity will almost inevitably...

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