First Read Flash: Listening In

Updated
The White House in Washington is seen on Wednesday, March 6, 2013. Area schools and many government offices in the Washington area are closed for the in...
The White House in Washington is seen on Wednesday, March 6, 2013. Area schools and many government offices in the Washington area are closed for the in...
AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Listening In. The Justice Department used a secret subpoena  last year to obtain two months of phone records for AP on 20 different phone lines used by more than 100 reporters and editors without notifying the news service, NBC News reports. Senior department officials said the steps were necessary to avoid “a substantial threat to the integrity” of an ongoing leak investigation. The time period last spring coincides with of a CIA operation in Yemen that stopped an al Qaeda plan to detonate a bomb on a U.S.-bound airplane.

Wider Scope. The Washington Post reports that IRS targeting of conservative groups expanded beyond just officials in Cincinnati,  with officials in Washington and at least two other offices involved. “IRS employees in Cincinnati told conservatives seeking the status of “’social welfare’ groups that a task force in Washington was overseeing their applications, according to interviews with the activists.”

Gosnell Guilty. Philadelphia abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell was found guilty on Monday on three counts of first-degree murder, accused of “delivering live babies during late-term abortions and then deliberately severing their spinal cords,” Reuters reports.

Minnesota Nice. Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-Minn.) announced Monday he won’t run for Senate or governor. The GOP congressman’s decision leaves Republicans still seeking a challenger against Sen. Al Franken (D) in 2014. Meanwhile, the Democratic senator, who typically only talks with state and local media, made a rare appearance on msnbc’s The Last Word Monday evening to discuss his plan to change the country’s credit rating system.

First Read Flash: Listening In

Updated