James Gordon Meek has an impressive track record of investigative journalism. However, he has not been seen or heard from since April 27, 2022 which is the day the FBI raided his Virginia Apartment.
John Antonelli, Meek’s neighbor, described what he saw the day of the raid. The event occurred early in the morning, just before sunrise. He saw a “black utility vehicle with blacked out windows blocking traffic in both directions on Columbia Pike.” More militaristic vehicles began to crowd the area and Antonelli “counted at least 10 heavily armed personnel in the group.”
It was unclear who was conducting the raid which only lasted ten minutes.
An FBI representative confirmed that agents were present at Meek’s apartment on April 27.
“[Agents were] at the 2300 block of Columbia Pike, Arlington, Virginia, conducting court-authorized law-enforcement activity. The FBI cannot comment further due to an ongoing investigation,” the representative said. The case documents are sealed.
The last time Meek spoke was in a one word Tweet the day of his disappearance. All he said was “Facts:” in response to another Tweet about the Ukrainian war with Russia.
A source told Rolling Stone that agents found classified material on Meek’s laptop during the raid which was noted to be a very unusual practice for journalists and producers.
Eugene Gorokhov, Meek’s lawyer, made a statement addressing the laptop finding.
“Mr. Meek is unaware of what allegations anonymous sources are making about his possession of classified documents,” Gorokhov said.
The raid on Meek’s apartment is said to be the first raid conducted on a journalist under the Biden Administration. The warrant was signed the day before by a federal magistrate judge in the Virginia Eastern District Court. Due to a policy enacted last year, the U.S. Deputy Attorney General (Lisa Monaco) must sign off if a seizure of a journalists’ documents is requested.
Though it is unknown what story Meek might have been uncovering which would ensue an FBI raid, he is known for his hard-hitting and complex stories, some surrounding military affairs.
As described by Rolling Stone, “his track record of exclusives was undeniable, breaking the news of foiled terrorist plots in New York City and the Army’s coverup of the fratricidal death of Pfc. Dave Sharrett II in Iraq, a bombshell that earned Meek a face-to-face meeting with President Obama. With nine years at ABC under his belt, a buzzy Hulu documentary poised for Emmy attention, and an upcoming book on the military’s chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan, the 52-year-old bear of a man seemed to be at the height of his powers and the pinnacle of his profession.”
ABC news addressed his resignation,
“He resigned very abruptly and hasn’t worked for us for months.”
A second ABC investigative journalist, Brian Epstein worked with Meek on his Hulu project, 3212 Un-Redacted. Epstein also suddenly left ABC a few months prior to Meek. Before hanging up on Rolling Stone, Epstein said “I’m not commenting on this story.”
Meek's family also declined to comment.
An anonymous colleague who also worked with Meek on 3212 Un-Redacted did comment on the situation.
“I just want to know what happened. [Meek’s situation] is making me nervous. I’m just gonna deadbolt my door.”
Meek was working on a book before his disappearance, Operation Pineapple Express: The Incredible Story of a Group of Americans Who Undertook One Last Mission and Honored a Promise in Afghanistan. He co-authored it with Lt. Col. Scott Mann. Meek promoted the upcoming book on his social media before April 27, when the promotions disappeared and his name was removed from “all press materials.”
His name was directly mentioned on the book cover, but it has now been changed from “In April, ABC News correspondent James Gordon Meek got an urgent call from a Special Forces operator serving overseas,” to, “In April, an urgent call was placed from a Special Forces operator serving overseas.”
Though Meek’s publisher Simon & Schuster did not respond for comment, his co-author did share his last contact with Meek since his sudden vanishing.
“He contacted me in the spring, and was really distraught, and told me that he had some serious personal issues going on and that he needed to withdraw from the project,” Mann said. “As a guy who’s a combat veteran who has seen that kind of strain — I don’t know what it was — I honored it. And he went on his way, and I continued on the project.”
Meek lived a private life, his neighbors barely knew him. Though his past life stirs less of a mystery than his present, he has left behind colleagues, neighbors and strangers wondering where he went.