Posted by: Ann Corcoran | October 27, 2013

Another Maryland SWAT raises questions

This time it’s a respected and award-winning investigative reporter whose rights may have been violated as a Maryland SWAT team raided her home in Anne Arundel County in early August ostensibly to look for illegal weapons they believed her husband possessed.  In the search they took boxes of his wife’s documents after ransacking her office.  The Washington Times is planning a lawsuit in defense of the First Amendment.

Audrey Hudson’s private documents confiscated in raid.

It’s a long piece but worth reading every bit of it.  Those of you who followed our coverage of the Sharpsburg SWAT will note that the authorities used a decades-old charge against her husband for resisting arrest when he was 25 years old in the warrant.

More than two months have passed and no charges have been filed against her husband.

Here is Ms. Hudson’s biography.

And here is the Washington Times story from Friday.

Maryland state police and federal agents used a search warrant in an unrelated criminal investigation to seize the private reporting files of an award-winning former investigative journalist for The Washington Times who had exposed problems in the Homeland Security Department’s Federal Air Marshal Service.

Reporter Audrey Hudson said the investigators, who included an agent for Homeland’s Coast Guard service, took her private notes and government documents that she had obtained under the Freedom of Information Act during a predawn raid of her family home on Aug. 6.

The documents, some which chronicled her sources and her work at the Times about problems inside the Homeland Security Department, were seized under a warrant to search for unregistered firearms and a “potato gun” suspected of belonging to her husband, Paul Flanagan, a Coast Guard employee. Mr. Flanagan has not been charged with any wrongdoing since the raid.

The warrant, obtained by the Times, offered no specific permission to seize reporting notes or files.

The Washington Times said Friday it is preparing legal action to fight what it called an unwarranted intrusion on the First Amendment.

Read the whole article.  Of interest to me is that Ms. Hudson had, over the years, been looking into issues relating to terrorism and airport security.


Responses

  1. And where was AACo Sheriff Bateman in all this ? His DUTY is to interpose himself to protect citizens against illegal overreach of state/federal authorities. I wonder if Ms. Hudson knew she had a right to call on Sheriff Bateman for protection, when her home was raided. Perhaps not. Had she done so, it would have been his duty to force the raiders at gunpoint, to leave the home of Ms. Hudson and Mr. Flanagan. Has anyone contacted him for a statement in this matter ? If not, it now seems no one can take stock in Sheriff Bateman’s ‘promise’ not long ago that he would indeed fulfill his duty to protect citizens against tyrannical government intrusion or attack. He actually signed a group statement to this effect, along with several other Maryland country sheriffs. Too few people even know that the local county sheriff is THE highest authority in the line of protection and interposition for citizens. This scenario reinforces the observation that all manner of government is committed not only to disarming citizens by any means, but suppressing any journalistic attempts to get the truth out, when government officials are hiding the truth. Wake up folks.

    • Thanks for all of that information and the good questions. If you find out anything more about the Sheriff’s role and what he did or didn’t do when this was going down, let us know!

  2. This issue is not about a reporters notes per say it is mainly about her husband violation of the law. If Mr. Flanagan was not suppose to have guns in his possession, how was he able to obtain a security clearance with DHS and work on ordnance equipment, i.e gun systems, for the coast guard. Mr. Flanagan has a history of criminal charges. He uses his wife’s position as a reporter to intimidate Coast Guard management officials. He knew or should have known that any guns in his possession or accessible to him were prohibited. How was he able to work on gun system for the USCG? This wife’s notes are a ruse.


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