NBC News Retracts Report That Cohen Was Wiretapped

Talking Points Memo reports:

NBC News corrected its bombshell report on the wiretapping of Michael Cohen Thursday, saying that President Trump’s longtime personal attorney’s phone calls were monitored, rather than listened to, by federal investigators.

Tom Winter, one of the authors of the report, said on MSNBC Thursday that the original report claiming that Cohen’s phones had been tapped “in the weeks leading up to” raids on his home, office and hotel room were based off of “two independent sources who have a long-term track record of credibility in providing accurate information to this news organization.”

The Hill reports:

The news outlet updated its initial report to reflect that Cohen’s phones were subject to a pen register, which allows investigators to create a log of phone calls associated with Cohen’s number. The distinction is significant.

The use of a pen register allows investigators to track incoming and outgoing calls from a number, where as a wiretap allows investigators to actually listen in on calls. Josh Blackman, a constitutional law professor at the South Texas College of Law in Houston, said it’s far easier to obtain a pen register than a wiretap.