Accuracy in Media

CNN reported that former Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, a Republican, had his cell phone and hard drive “seized” by authorities under search warrants, yet Synder corrected the record to note that the electronic devices were left voluntarily, which is standard protocol.

“Snyder’s pushback is that yesterday’s headlines said the phones of he & his staff were seized (implying there was some kind of raid) and they weren’t seized at all,” reported Crain’s Detroit Business’ Chad Livengood. “A warrant was issued to get the phones from one side of the AG’s office to the other. Here’s Snyder attorney Brian Lennon’s full statement: Solicitor General Fadwa Hammoud “did not take former Gov. Rick Snyder’s cell home from him.”

The statement read:

“Michigan Solicitor General Fadwa Hammoud and her Flint water investigative team did not take former Gov. Rick Snyder’s cell phone from him. The Governor intentionally and voluntarily left his cell phone and other electronic devices with the Attorney General’s office when his term of office ended, so that they would be available. Recent media reports have been misleading at best.

“While we have not been provided with either a copy of the search warrants or supporting affidavits, it is our understanding that the search warrants were executed at the office of the Attorney General, where the Governor’s devices were being stored in a secured manner. Solicitor General Hammoud was informed that the Governor’s devices were secured in the AG’s office.

“Several times since January, we have reached out to Solicitor General Hammoud offering to explain the history of the document production and the agreements reached with former Special Assistant Attorney General Todd Flood. We have not received any response to those offers.

“We agree with the statements from career assistant attorneys general, which were filed in the Nick Lyon case, regarding the many misstatements made about the document productions and Warner’s role in those document productions. As we have said before, our firm and the Attorney General’s office worked cooperatively together on the review and production of documents in this matter. There were never any disagreements between Warner and the AG’s office regarding the relevance of documents produced.

“Finally, we take issue with the continued false statements, both in court and to the press, that the Governor’s private attorneys have somehow compromised or impeded the SG’s investigation in any way. We have not. We have cooperated and made every effort to continue that cooperation.”

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