Former Journalist Indicted for Allegedly Hacking and Leaking Embarrassing Fox News Tucker Carlson Footage in Florida

Timothy Burke, a former journalist, faces a slew of federal charges, totaling 14, over the purported hack and dissemination of a series of unflattering behind-the-scenes clips involving Tucker Carlson, as per an indictment unveiled on Thursday. The 45-year-old was apprehended on Thursday morning and was anticipated to make an appearance in federal court in Tampa, Florida, reported the Tampa Bay Times.

The indictment accuses Burke of one count of conspiracy, six counts of unauthorized access to a protected computer, and seven counts of intercepting or disclosing wire, oral, or electronic communications. Burke, through his legal representatives, has staunchly denied any unlawful conduct.

The charges against Burke stem from a Justice Department inquiry into criminal hacking initiated last year following the emergence of previously unaired footage from Carlson’s former Fox News program. One such clip, posted by Vice in 2022, captured Kanye West making antisemitic remarks during an interview with Carlson. Subsequently, Media Matters released additional behind-the-scenes footage of Carlson engaging in crude banter and disparaging remarks about the Fox Nation streaming service, which surfaced after Carlson’s dismissal from Fox News.

The unearthing of previously unaired footage puzzled media observers, prompting speculation about the source of the leaks. Former Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly even speculated about a conspiracy involving the network itself orchestrating the leaks to discredit Carlson, who had recently been terminated. However, the grand jury indictment squarely implicates Burke and an unnamed associate in the unauthorized access and theft of information from protected computers.

While the indictment refrains from explicitly naming Carlson or Fox News, it references “Network #1,” described as a multinational media company headquartered in New York City. Nonetheless, a letter from the Justice Department to Fox News last year indicated a connection between the probe and the leaked Carlson footage. Burke’s attorneys emphasized that their client’s actions constituted legal reporting based on information accessible from public sources without requiring login credentials.

Fox News declined to comment on the indictment, and Carlson did not respond to requests for comment. Burke’s lawyers reiterated his denial of any wrongdoing and highlighted the profound impact of the charges on his personal and professional life.

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As legal proceedings unfold, the case underscores the complexities surrounding digital privacy, media ethics, and the legal boundaries of investigative journalism in the digital age.

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