The FBI raided the home of ABC News investigative reporter James Gordon Meek in April, according to a report from Rolling Stone.
Meek resigned from his role at ABC immediately following the raid. His neighbors and colleagues say they have not seen him since the FBI searched his home.
James Gordon Meek has vanished.
“[Meek] resigned very abruptly and hasn’t worked for us for months,” ABC News told the outlet.
Federal agents allegedly found classified information on Meek’s laptop during the raid. Meek had been working on a book about Joe Biden’s withdrawal from Afghanistan at the time.
The report says agents sought records in Meek’s possession. That means U.S. Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco would have had to sign off on the search as a new policy enacted last year prohibits federal prosecutors from seizing documents from journalists.
Rolling Stone provided the following details:
“Meek has been charged with no crime. But independent observers believe the raid is among the first — and quite possibly, the first — to be carried out on a journalist by the Biden administration.”
FBI raided an ABC journalist’s home & his co-workers say no one’s seen him since.— Bobby Burack (@burackbobby_) October 19, 2022
He was working on a book about Afghan withdrawal.
“Independent observers believe the raid is among the first—and quite possibly, the first — to be carried out on a journalist by the Biden admin.” pic.twitter.com/i6z7idPiEr
An investigative journalist who worked with Meek told Rolling Stone that it would be “highly unusual for a reporter or producer to keep any classified information on a computer.”
His lawyer, Eugene Gorokhov, denied knowing of alleged classified documents in Meek’s possession:
“Mr. Meek is unaware of what allegations anonymous sources are making about his possession of classified documents,” his attorney Eugene Gorokhov told Rolling Stone. “If such documents exist, as claimed, this would be within the scope of his long career as an investigative journalist covering government wrongdoing. The allegations in your inquiry are troubling for a different reason: they appear to come from a source inside the government. It is highly inappropriate, and illegal, for individuals in the government to leak information about an ongoing investigation. We hope that the DOJ [Department of Justice] promptly investigates the source of this leak.”
Meek’s neighbors say they have not seen or heard from him since observing the raid. His apartment now appears vacant. ABC staffers stressed his whereabouts are unknown.
The report concludes that it’s “unclear what story, if any, would have put Meek in the FBI’s crosshairs,” but noted he frequently worked on “extremely sensitive topics” involving terrorists.
Oddly, the story also uncovered that ABC’s sister company Hulu blocked an Emmy campaign that attempted to put a spotlight on “3212 Un-Redacted,” a documentary based on Meek’s reporting,
The oddities don’t end there. The book company Simon & Schuster, which planned to publish his reporting on Afghanistan, scrubbed all mention of Meek on its webpage.
Even stranger, in the months before he vanished, Meek was finishing up work on a book for Simon & Schuster titled Operation Pineapple Express: The Incredible Story of a Group of Americans Who Undertook One Last Mission and Honored a Promise in Afghanistan, which he co-authored with Lt. Col. Scott Mann, a retired Green Beret. Meek even featured a picture of the soon-to-publish book in his bio on social media and frequently tweeted about his involvement. But post-April 27, the book-jacket photo disappeared from his bio, and Simon & Schuster has scrubbed his name from all press materials. The first sentence of the jacket previously read: “In April, ABC News correspondent James Gordon Meek got an urgent call from a Special Forces operator serving overseas.” Now it says: “In April, an urgent call was placed from a Special Forces operator serving overseas.”
Ominous — all of it. Why did the Biden admin carry out a raid on a journalist? Where is Meek?
What did Meek have on that laptop? That’s the question with which the eventual Netflix series will ask in the winning moments of the premiere episode.