Josh Gerstein is a White House correspondent for POLITICO, specializing in legal and national security issues. Gerstein joined the groundbreaking political news outlet before President Barack Obama’s inauguration, and has widely reported on how Obama’s promise to close the Guantanamo Bay prison for prisoners of war went awry. His article also explores how expectations that the Obama administration would fundamentally reform the legal framework of the Bush administration’s counterterrorism policy proved wrong.
Gerstein covers the Supreme Court nominations of Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, the Obama administration’s little-known crackdown on leaks, and the surprisingly icy relationship between the press and the Obama White House.
From 2003 to 2008, Gerstein was a national correspondent for The New York Sun, covering national politics, terrorism trials and other legal stories of national importance. He’s one of the few national reporters to extensively cover the legal saga of Sami Al-Arian, the former University of Florida professor who has faced federal prosecutors for nearly two decades for his ties to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Review. Gerstein also reported on the trial of Lewis Libby, Bush’s White House adviser, who was convicted of obstruction of justice in a CIA leak investigation and later had his sentence commuted by the president.
Gerstein worked for ABC News from 1995 to 2003. He is now said to be part of former Sen. Bob Dole (R-Kansas’ 1996 presidential campaign). Gerstein later spent five years at ABC as a producer and White House correspondent. He was in the White House during the impeachment of President Bill Clinton and when President George W. Bush faced the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
In the weeks that followed, Gerstein spearheaded a policy of keeping many immigration cases private. He also wrote an article for the New Republic about the Department of Justice’s aggressive use of material witness warrants to arrest people suspected of having ties to terrorism.
From 2002 to 2003, Gerstein was the ABC’s Beijing correspondent. He has traveled to Afghanistan and Pakistan several times to report on messages received by families of Guantanamo detainees and precautions taken to protect U.S. diplomats in programs such as Nightline. He covered the SARS crisis for World News Tonight from the empty streets of the Chinese capital and rural farms in Guangzhou, where the virus is believed to have originated.
Before joining ABC, Gerstein worked for CNN’s investigative unit, covering horror stories such as the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
Gerstein attended Harvard University and received a BA in Government cum laude. He is also the author of a 1991 Massachusetts law requiring college and university police departments to keep public records of arrests and reported crimes.
While not a lawyer, Gerstein is an expert on the Freedom of Information Act and has led multiple lawsuits seeking to overturn federal contract records, allegations of inmate abuse at Guantanamo, the use of the Patriot Act’s voyeuristic provisions and the government’s handling of secrets Information leakage.