The Justice Department’s targeting of Fox News correspondent James Rosen is “just a matter of trying to intimidate those who would embarrass them,” former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson tells Newsmax TV in an exclusive interview.
“I read parts of that affidavit that was signed by an FBI agent,” Thompson, a former Watergate prosecutor, tells Newsmax. “I have never heard of or seen an FBI agent before allege criminal activity. You allege the facts in these affidavits and the court determines whether or not there is criminal activity.”
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In 2009, Justice obtained a warrant to gain access to Rosen’s telephone records and emails and tracked his activities with the State Department in an effort to investigate Stephen Jin-Woo Kim, who was charged the next year with disclosing national defense information.
Also, Justice secretly seized the telephone records of reporters and editors at The Associated Press, it was revealed last week.
“Up until now, law enforcement always tries to find out who leaks classified information, but they don’t go after the reporter who pursued it,” says Thompson, who played Manhattan District Attorney Arthur Branch on the long-running NBC-TV series “Law & Order.”
And that’s why both instances smack of “selectivity” and intimidation, he tells Newsmax. “I don’t think they have any intention of pursuing any criminal activity against Rosen or anybody else.”
Related: Thompson Says Special Benghazi Panel Will 'Get to Truth'
More broadly, Thompson says these media controversies show how Attorney General Eric Holder is “making a mockery of the position he holds.”
“The law gives the Justice Department the right to pursue information such as the information that they have pursued. There's a statutory framework for that. There's notice required for those that you're going after. But what you see here is a statutory authority that is abused.”
“The former GOP presidential candidate echoed Texas Sen. John Cornyn in saying that Holder “should’ve been gone a long time ago.
“He has proven throughout his public career that he's anybody's dog that will hunt with him,” Thompson tells Newsmax. “He will do anything Obama wants him to do instead of exercising independent judgment as the nation's top lawyer.
“I don’t have any confidence in his desire or ability carry out the proper functions in that office.”
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