Biden Nominee Greenlit Secret Search Of Journalist’s Emails Over Ashley Biden’s Diary
Judge Sarah Netburn / U.S. Senate
Judge Sarah Netburn / U.S. Senate

A few years before she was nominated by Joe Biden to a lifetime judicial appointment, Judge Sarah Netburn signed off on an order that compelled Google to secretly hand over to criminal investigators information from the email account of the journalist who had obtained Ashley Biden’s diary.

Netburn has been eviscerated by Republican senators for alleged partisanship during her confirmation hearings this week, chiefly for allowing a repeat sexual offender to be housed in a female prison because he said he was a woman. Senators including Texas’ Ted Cruz have accused her of putting ideology over jurisprudence.

Unmentioned, however, have been her actions in 2020. Netburn as a federal magistrate judge in New York signed the order compelling Google to provide information from a Project Veritas journalist’s personal email account, court records show. Project Veritas purchased the diary after a woman said she found it when she moved into a room previously occupied by Ashley Biden.

The conservative-leaning journalism outfit ultimately decided not to publish the diary. Nonetheless, lawyers for Ashley Biden contacted the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, which turned the missing diary into a federal case.

The contents of the diary, in which the president’s daughter discusses drug addiction and questions whether her sexual compulsion stemmed from Joe Biden allegedly showering with her as a child, had the potential to be politically explosive.

Netburn granted the ruling favorably to Ashley Biden, in spite of First Amendment implications, in December 2020, after Joe Biden had won the presidential election but while Donald Trump was still in office. Three and a half years later, Joe Biden nominated Netburn for a lifetime appointment to the position of District Judge for the Southern District of New York.

The order signed by Netburn ordered Google to turn over information associated with a personal account of a Project Veritas journalist, while forbidding Google from letting the target know about it, preventing the journalism outfit from fighting the move. “The information sought is relevant and material to an ongoing criminal investigation, and that disclosure to any person of this investigation of this application and order… would seriously jeopardize the investigation,” the order said.

The application for a search warrant was also sealed, making it unknown exactly what prosecutors told Netburn.

The case became public after prosecutors executed pre-dawn raids at the homes of three former Project Veritas journalists, drawing condemnation from even left-leaning civil liberties groups.

Prosecutors eventually got warrants from Apple, Microsoft, and other providers from other magistrate judges, and pressed for them to remain sealed. In 2022, Microsoft realized the case was already well-publicized, meaning the government could not legitimately argue for sealing them, and prosecutors relented, filing an order to end the non-disclosure orders, which Netburn signed.

In May 2022, Project Veritas’ lawyers wrote to Netburn that the subpoenas were “unprecedented government invasions into the newsgathering work of Project Veritas, which lawfully received an abandoned diary and other personal effects previously belonging to an adult child of then-presidential candidate Joe Biden.”

“There is no potential crime to investigate, only First Amendment-protected newsgathering,” it wrote, saying that, “while the government continues to peddle the lie that the diary — or other abandoned belongings — were ‘stolen,’ it has produced no support for its false claim.”

Even if it were stolen, precedent holds that “journalists may lawfully receive materials from sources even if that material is illegally obtained by sources themselves,” it argued.

Netburn did not immediately return a request for comment to her chambers.

Mike Davis, a Republican former chief counsel for nominations on the Senate Judiciary Committee who now leads the Article III Project, a nonprofit focused on the judiciary, told The Daily Wire that the order is another sign Netburn is too partisan for the nomination.

“Now, we learn Sarah Netburn ordered a secret search of a journalist’s email account to protect Joe Biden from the highly troubling abuse allegations in daughter Ashley Biden’s diary,” Davis said after reviewing the orders. “Sarah Netburn has proven she doesn’t have the necessary judgeship or independence to serve on the federal bench for the rest of her life. That’s probably why Joe Biden picked her.”

The White House says it was unaware of the order when Biden nominated Netburn, and that it was therefore not a factor in the decision.

“We are unaware of such a warrant and nothing regarding this case was a factor,” Biden’s deputy press secretary Andrew Bates told The Daily Wire.

Last month, Aimee Harris was sentenced to a month in prison and three years of probation after pleading guilty to taking the diary and selling it to Project Veritas for $40,000. Another man, Robert Kurlander, also pleaded guilty to involvement in a conspiracy involving the diary.

In the diary published by Marco Polo, Ashley allegedly writes that she was “hyper-sexualized @ a young age,” and references “showers” with her dad that were “probably not appropriate.” She writes this while contemplating her issues with sexual trauma, and said she was “resentful” of her father because of “$, control.” On September 16, 2019, she wrote, “I’m going to discontinue this journal after I leave here.”

Last month, Ashley Biden seemed to acknowledge that the diary was real in a victim impact statement that was originally filed under seal, but made public after the New York Times argued against its secrecy. In the statement, Ashley Biden says the private diary’s publication has led to “grotesque lies” and that her “stream-of-consciousness thoughts” were misconstrued.

“My personal private journal was stolen and sold for profit,” she wrote. “I ask Your Honor to sentence Ms. Harris to time in prison followed by lengthy probation.”

Netburn is up for a lifetime appointment to the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. She is unlikely to receive Republican support after her failure to defend the decision to put a transgender-identifying male sexual offender in a female prison.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Biden Nominee Greenlit Secret Search Of Journalist’s Emails Over Ashley Biden’s Diary