* So, how did the Sun-Times obtain the explosive 2016 FBI affidavit that was used to obtain a federal search warrant on Chicago Ald. Danny Solis? Greg Hinz has the deets…
But somehow, the [affidavit] was openly posted on the court’s document website, known as Pacer. In other words, the entire document was inadvertently made public for the world to read. And either because of smart reporting or a tip from someone—or both—the Sun-Times quickly downloaded the search warrant, and proceeded to go to town on what would become one of the best stories in Chicago media in years.
None of that sat well with Magistrate Judge Young B. Kim, who court records indicate has been presiding over the Solis matter.
According to my sources, Kim re-closed the affidavit, and ordered the Sun-Times not to print what was in it, presumably on grounds that premature publicity could undermine what appears to be an extremely wide-ranging federal probe into City Hall that has been underway for four years or longer.
Knowledgeable sources also say that Kim’s order came despite sentiment within the U.S. attorney’s office here that a ban on publication, known as prior restraint, would be on shaky legal ground and likely inconsistent with past U.S. Supreme Court decisions in the famed Pentagon Papers and other cases.
But the Sun-Times went ahead. Whether Kim will take further action is not known.
Nobody is responding to requests for comment. I asked a couple of top people at the Sun-Times about this last week and they either didn’t respond or said they weren’t aware of the issue.
Either way, good for the Sun-Times to not let a federal judge push it around.