Yes. Interesting you bring that up. In fact I had a paragraph in discussing that but cut it because the piece was getting too long (figured no one would read it if it was 10 mins +). But yes, with the one note that journalists get special protections under the First Amendment (“the press” is separated out and referred to as a district entity) that don’t always apply elsewhere especially in criminal cases. (I’m thinking of insider trading for instance, which is notoriously hard to prove, but often involves simply exploiting material non public information, that wasn’t stolen by the person using it for gain) sometimes by spreading that information to the public in an effort to move the stock, (which could be a form of speech?) Martha Stewart didn’t steal the information that convicted her. Her broker told her about it. And she just acted on it. U see why I didn’t ultimately go down this rabbit hole? (Maybe on another day.) Also there are laws about taking information from foreign agents, and these have factored in most of the cases Mueller has actually prosecuted. But yes, fundamentally I agree. Anecdotally, as a reporter I’ve often tried to talk people into telling me or confirming secret information, but I’ve never asked sources to steal secrets for me, and I’ve never used info that I knew or suspected was stolen. In the case of the Mueller findings I’m not sure that distinction is meant to be as clear cut as Barr makes it out to be.

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Peabody award winning journalist. Streaming media pioneer. Played @ CBGB back in the day. Editor-In-Chief "The Chaos Report"

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