Leftist Journalist Indicted on Federal Charges for Allegedly Hacking Fox News, Leaking Tucker Carlson Material

Leftist Journalist Indicted on Federal Charges for Allegedly Hacking Fox News, Leaking Tucker Carlson Material

A political consultant based in Florida was arrested Thursday and charged with 14 federal crimes after he was alleged to have hacked Fox News and leaked a portion of what is believed to be then-host Tucker Carlson’s interview with Kanye West that was not meant to be aired.

The arrest followed a lengthy FBI investigation and came nine months after media consultant Tim Burke of Tampa had his phones and computers seized by federal agents, The Tampa Bay Times reported.

According to the federal government, Burke and another person who has not been named used their knowledge of the media world and technology to access the footage and to leak it to other media outlets.

Through the use of “compromised credentials,” the pair were able to access non-public streams within the company, according to the report.

The indictment does not specifically mention Fox News, Carlson or West but instead describes a “multinational media company based in New York City” and a host with that company who owned a Florida home in 2022 that was in the crosshairs of Hurricane Ian.

The Times noted Burke had previously stated publicly he was aware Carlson owned a property on Gasparilla Island, roughly between Tampa and Fort Meyers.

The clips of West making anti-Semitic comments went viral, but were not part of the complete interview Fox News eventually aired in October 2022.

A federal indictment against Burke also claims he accessed a computer server for “one of the major sports leagues in North America.”

The federal government said Burke’s unidentified alleged co-conspirator contacted him via a private message on X (then called Twitter) to say the server accessed was the location “for all of [the sports league’s] footage they post to social, send to partners, etc.”

Burke, through two attorneys, denied last year he had done anything wrong, claiming there was no hacking and that the digital information he accessed was public and easily accessible to him.

On Thursday, attorney Michael Maddux told the Tampa Bay Times, “It’s not hacking, it’s just good investigative journalism … We obviously emphatically deny these charges and we’re looking forward to the opportunity to defend him and exonerate him.”

Mark Rasch, another attorney for Burke, previously claimed his client was able to access networks simply by following hyperlinks and that nothing he saw was encrypted or required passwords.

Burke is charged with a count of conspiracy, six counts of accessing a protected computer without authorization and seven counts of intercepting or disclosing wire, oral or electronic communications.

He was arraigned Thursday and released after it was assessed he was not a flight risk.

Burke previously worked for left-wing media outlets such as Deadspin and The Daily Beast.

On a social media account owned by Burke, he routinely attacks conservatives and free speech advocate Elon Musk.

He is currently the owner of Burke Communications and is married to Lynn Hurtak, who sits on the Tampa City Council.

In a statement provided to the Times, the councilwoman defended her husband.

“I am confident in my husband’s innocence, and I support him completely,” Hurtak told the Times through an aide. “I will not be making additional statements regarding this matter.”

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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