Attorney General Eric Holder said Tuesday that no journalist in America would be prosecuted under his watch for being a reporter.
"As long as I'm attorney general, no reporter is going to go to jail for doing his or her job,'' Holder told a media advisory group, according to USA Today.
Later, the Justice Department said Holder was retiring his "longtime assertion that, as long as he is in office, no journalist will be prosecuted or go to prison for performing ordinary news-gathering activities.''
The Obama administration has been asking James Risen, a reporter for The New York Times, for the name of a confidential source that provided classified information for his book, "State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration,"
published in 2006.
It was revealed three years ago that former CIA analyst Jeffrey Sterling provided some of the material for the book — information that pertained to the CIA's involvement in Iran's nuclear program.
Risen has been asked to testify
for the prosecution at Sterling's trial.
Risen has vowed to go to prison before revealing his still unnamed source for his book, and he has reached out to the Supreme Court about the matter. The case could be denied by the Court next Monday, according to USA Today. If the court decides to take it on, it would not be heard until later.
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