A national news outlet shed light on a mysterious FBI raid in Arlington earlier this year.
Rolling Stone reports that the raid on a Columbia Pike apartment building, which ARLnow first reported in April, targeted a well-known ABC News producer, James Gordon Meek.
Meek, an Emmy Award winner who has often published national security-themed investigative pieces for the television network, has reportedly not been seen or heard from publicly since the raid. The last tweet from his once-active Twitter feed was at 5 a.m. on the morning of the raid, which targeted his top-floor apartment at the Siena Park Apartments at 2301 Columbia Pike, according to Rolling Stone.
From our April 27 report:
Photos show several unmarked federal law enforcement vehicles, including a Lenco BearCat armored SWAT vehicle, in front of the Siena Park apartments on the 2300 block of the Pike.
An officer in camouflage and tactical gear could be seen holding a shield inside the open doors of the moving BearCat.
Arlington County Police deferred comment, noting that “the police activity is part of an active FBI investigation.” The FBI, in turn, confirmed the activity but said little else.
“The FBI is present at the 2300 block of Columbia Pike, Arlington, VA, conducting court-authorized law enforcement activities,” Washington Field Office spokeswoman Samantha Shero told ARLnow. “The FBI cannot comment further due to an ongoing investigation.”
More details of the investigation are unlikely to be released today or tomorrow, Shero noted.
The raid was first brought to the attention of ARLnow by local resident John Antonelli, who is quoted in the magazine article.
…Self-proclaimed police vehicle historian Antonelli was about to grab a coffee at a Starbucks before setting off on his daily three-mile walk. He moved closer to get a better view, when he saw an olive-green Lenco BearCat G2, an armored tactical vehicle often employed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, among other law enforcement agencies. A few Arlington County cruisers surrounded the breathtaking scene, but all other vehicles were unmarked, including the BearCat. […]
“They didn’t stay. They took off pretty quickly and headed west on Columbia Pike toward Fairfax County,” Antonelli recalled.
So far, according to Rolling Stone, Meek has not been charged, documents related to the case remain sealed and it is unclear why he is under investigation.
It’s unusual for federal law enforcement to target a journalist, the magazine noted.
Meek has not been charged with any crime. But independent observers believe the raid is among the first — and most likely the first — to be carried out against a journalist by the Biden administration. A federal magistrate in the Eastern District of Virginia court signed the search warrant the day before the raid. If the raid was for Meek’s records, US Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco should have given her blessing; a new policy enacted last year prohibits federal prosecutors from seizing documents from journalists. Any exceptions require the approval of the Deputy GA. (Gabe Rottman, of the Journalists’ Committee for Freedom of the Press, says: “To my knowledge, there have been no cases [since January 2021]. »
Meek’s attorney released a statement to Rolling Stone in response to a particular detail in the story.
“Mr. Meek is not aware of allegations from anonymous sources regarding his possession of classified documents,” the attorney wrote.