Last Updated on October 20, 2022
Investigative reporter on national security and former ABC News producer, James Gordon Meek, has not been since the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) raided his apartment in Arlington, Virginia, on April 27th. A federal magistrate judge from the Eastern District Court of Virginia authorized the warrant on April 26th, which reportedly had to do with handling of classified materials.
This was the last thing that Meek tweeted on the 27th:
— James Gordon Meek (@meekwire) April 27, 2022
Meek had agreed with former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) agent, Marc Polymeropoulos, who contended that the U.S.-backed Ukrainian military was succeeding in their conflict with Russia.
Many have contended that this was the first of many raids that will be conducted on journalists by the Biden administration.
Since the raid, his neighbors say they have not seen Meek. Former ABC News co-workers likewise have no idea where he is.
“He fell off the face of the earth and people asked, but no one knew the answer,” one person said. “He resigned very abruptly and hasn’t worked for us for months,” an ABC representative said.
Sources assert that federal agents identified classified documents on Meek’s laptop.
Meek’s lawyer, Eugene Gorokhov, published a statement about the assertion.
“Mr. Meek is unaware of what allegations anonymous sources are making about his possession of classified documents. If such documents exists, as claimed, this would be within the scope of Mr. Meek’s long career as an investigative journalist covering government wrongdoing,” the statement reads. “Press inquiries on this issue are troubling for a different reason: they appear to be based on statements from a source inside the government. It is highly inappropriate, and illegal, for individuals in the government to leak information about an ongoing investigation. We hope that the DOJ promptly investigates the source of this leak.”
Meek had been working on a book about the Biden Administration’s disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan in August 2021.
After the April 27th raid, all information about Meek’s upcoming book, Operation Pineapple Express: The Incredible Story of a Group of Americans Who Undertook One Last Mission and Honored a Promise in Afghanistan, was removed from his social media channels and from the website of the publisher-to-be, Simon & Schuster.
Meek was writing his book with former Lieutenant Colonel Scott Mann, a former green beret.
“He contacted me in the spring, and was really distraught, and told me that he had some serious personal issues going on and that he needed to withdraw from the project,” Lt. Col. Mann (RET.) said. “As a guy who’s a combat veteran who has seen that kind of strain – I don’t know what it was – I honored it. And he went on his way, and I continued on the project.”
Mann has not heard from Meek since then.
Prior to the April 27th FBI raid, the book-jacket on Operation Pineapple Express read: “In April, ABC News correspondent, James Gordon Meek, got an urgent call from a Special Forces operator serving overseas.”
After the April 27th FBI Raid it said, “In April, an urgent call was placed from a Special Forces operator overseas.”
A witness to the raid, 52-year-old John Antonelli, spotted 10 heavily armed persons among a group of law enforcement officers, a black utility vehicle, a green armored tactical vehicle, several Arlington Police Department cars and other cars. The heavily armed individuals had no badges, insignia, or regalia that could identify which agency they worked for. All in all, the raid lasted about 10 minutes.
The FBI stated that agents went to Meek’s residence on April 2 “at the 2300 block of Columbia Pike, Arlington, Virginia, conducting court-authorized law-enforcement activity. The FBI cannot comment further due to an ongoing investigation.”
Meek has not been charged with any crimes. An additional investigative journalist, Brian Epstein, also left ABC months before Meek did.
Epstein said that he would not be “commenting on this story.”
Both journalists worked on a documentary called 3212 Un-Redacted, a film about the four American Green Berets that ended up dead after an ambush by ISIS in Niger in 2017. The film debuted in 2021 on Veterans Day via Hulu.
According to the logline for the film, it presented “evidence of a cover-up at the highest levels of the Army.”
The Emmy-winning Meek is a former senior counterterrorism advisor and investigator for the House Homeland Security Committee. Among the stories Meek broke are the New York City foiled terrorist plots and the U.S. Army coverup of the death of Private First Class, Dave Sharrett II, in Iraq.
If one of the targets of the FBI raid was Meek’s records, the warrant would have had to be signed by U.S. Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco. A new policy enacted in 2021 prohibits federal prosecutors from conducting a seizure of journalists’ documents, but any exceptions can be granted with approval from the deputy AG.
Another resident in Meek’s apartment complex asserted that the amount of firepower behind the raid was extremely unusual. “The last time I heard about a SWAT team going into an apartment building was the crazy stuff in Navy Yard, and they had weapons and stuff,” the resident said.
Then-president of ABC News, Ben Sherwood complimented Meek in a staff memo once. “[He has] vast knowledge of national security issues and skills as a deep-diving reporter,” Sherwood said at the time.
Witnesses are unable to state whether or not Meek was removed from the building at the time of the raid. “I just want to know what happened. [Meek’s situation] is making me nervous,” someone who worked on 3212 Un-Redacted said.
“I’m just gonna deadbolt my door,” she added.
This story was originally published by Rolling Stone.