Conflict of Interest: Washington Post's National Editor Married to FBI Chief of Staff
A woman appointed as the Washington Post’s national editor last month is married to the chief of staff for Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Christopher Wray, raising questions about the independence of the outlet’s coverage of the federal agency and the FBI’s affiliation with the establishment media.
Jonathan Lenzner, a federal prosecutor who was named the FBI director’s chief of staff in December, is married to Matea Gold, who was named the national editor of the Washington Post in January, according to a report published Tuesday by RealClearInvestigations.com.
Gold married Lenzner in 2006, when she was a writer for the Los Angeles Times.
Responding to a request for comment from RealClearInvestigations on the conflict of interest, the Washington Post clarified that Gold would be recused from any coverage of the FBI.
The Post claimed that the Jeff Bezos-owned paper’s managing editor, Steven Ginsberg, would assume Gold’s duties in situations involving coverage of the FBI.
“We have every confidence in Matea’s professionalism and high standards,” a WaPo spokeswoman said.
“She has recused herself from this area of coverage to avoid even the appearance of partiality.”
The Post claims that Gold will be barred from directing or editing coverage of government officials such as Wray or Attorney General Merrick Garland. Gold’s byline features extensive coverage of news related to the federal justice system in the past, such as the Mueller investigation and the firing of former FBI director James Comey.
At the time, Jonathan Lenzner was the acting U.S attorney for the District of Maryland.
Lenzner’s role as a federal prosecutor arguably merited disclosure in connection to Gold’s work.
The lack of transparency in the matter raises questions about the integrity of Gold’s present recusal, which was only announced in response to an inquiry into her connection to the FBI.
In an article announcing her promotion last month, the Post cited Gold’s editorial involvement in such matters, including having “spearheaded” an illustrated report on Robert Mueller’s ultimately empty investigation into claims of collusion between former President Donald Trump and Russia.
The FBI declined to comment in response to inquiry from RealClearInvestigations regarding the impropriety of Lenzner’s hiring, only providing a link to his government biography without addressing Lenzner’s proximity to one of the most well-funded media organizations in the United States.
Lenzner’s wife isn’t his only connection to liberal politics. Lenzner’s father, Terry, was a private investigator employed on numerous instances by former President Bill Clinton. The New York Times reported that during the Monica Lewinsky scandal, Terry Lenzner was called by independent counsel Kenneth Starr to testify before a grand jury over his work for Clinton.
Terry Lenzner also investigated the case involving Paula Jones, a woman who sued Clinton in a sexual misconduct lawsuit, according to The Times.
Legitimate journalism entails an inherent skepticism of powerful government officials, a sentiment compromised by close familial relationships with those who wield the levers of government power.
Despite the Post’s claims of Gold’s recusal, their coverage of news involving the federal justice system is fundamentally in question following the promotion of their new editor.
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