Journalist Charged with Federal Crimes for Leaking Tucker Carlson Videos

Tim Burke, the journalist accused of leaking videos of former Fox News star Tucker Carlson, has been charged with 14 federal crimes related to computer hacking. Burke, 45, allegedly worked alongside a criminal partner to gain unauthorized access to behind-the-scenes broadcast streams at the media giant. The pair then shared the hacked clips as an anonymous source, using compromised credentials. According to a federal indictment, the duo stored the stolen footage and files on a server, which Burke’s co-conspirator referred to as the primary location for their social media posts and partner distribution.

Burke, the founder of Burke Communications, was arrested on Thursday morning and appeared in court later that day. His wife, Lynn Hurtak, a City Council member, was present in support of her husband. Hurtak released a statement expressing her confidence in Burke’s innocence and her full support for him. She declined to provide further comments on the matter.

The charges against Burke include 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. This arrest comes almost a year after FBI agents raided the couple’s home and seized computers and electronic devices used by Burke for his media business.

The investigation into Burke began after leaked videos of Tucker Carlson surfaced, just days before his unexpected termination. The leaked footage showed Carlson criticizing colleagues who used preferred gender pronouns and making unprofessional comments to a makeup artist on set. Additionally, Carlson made inappropriate remarks about a lawyer from Dominion Voting Systems during a deposition, prior to Fox News settling a lawsuit with the company for $787.5 million. The leaked clips also allegedly contained footage of Kanye West making antisemitic remarks while cameras were rolling.

Although the indictment does not mention Carlson or Fox News, prosecutors noted that one of the streams contained a video featuring a host from a multinational media company based in New York City. This video coincided with Carlson’s interview with Kanye West, which aired on Fox News on October 6, 2022.

Burke and his legal team have consistently denied any involvement in the leaking of the videos. They claim that Burke obtained the footage by following a hyperlink to live video feeds that did not require passwords and were not encrypted. Attorney Michael Maddux, representing Burke, stated that the charges were emphatically denied, and they looked forward to defending and exonerating Burke.

During the court proceedings, prosecutors requested a $30,000 bond for Burke and conditions that would restrict his access to computers and websites that require logins not directly issued to him. Maddux argued that such restrictions would hinder Burke’s ability to perform his job. Ultimately, Burke was released on the condition that he severs contact with his alleged co-conspirator.

Author: CrimeDoor

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