Pelosi to Gonzales: 'Freedom of the Press is Critical for Our Democracy'

January 19, 2007
Press Release
Washington, D.C. - Speaker Nancy Pelosi sent a letter to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales this afternoon about two San Francisco Chronicle reporters facing up to 18 months in federal prison for refusing to disclose their confidential sources.

Below is the text of the letter:

January 19, 2007


Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales

Office of the Attorney General

U.S. Department of Justice

950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW

Washington, DC20530-0001


Dear Attorney General Gonzales:

I wish to fully associate myself with the views expressed yesterday in the letter to you by Chairman John Conyers of the House Judiciary Committee and Ranking Member Tom Davis of the Committee on Oversight & Government Reform regarding the San Francisco Chronicle and reporters Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams.  I ask that you give favorable consideration to their bipartisan request for relief.

Freedom of the press is critical for our democracy and for informing our citizens about public policy issues.  That is why I have expressed support for a federal shield law, so that the policies and actions of the United States Government seek to protect and preserve that freedom.

Thank you for reviewing this matter of bipartisan concern.  I look forward to your response.



Nancy Pelosi



cc:        The Honorable John Conyers, Jr.

The Honorable Tom Davis