Holder Calls James Rosen Investigation 'Appropriate'

Image: Holder Calls James Rosen Investigation 'Appropriate'

Thursday, 20 Jun 2013 12:35 PM

By Lisa Barron

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Attorney General Eric Holder defended his May 15 testimony before the House Judiciary Committee regarding the investigation of the media for publishing leaks, writing in a new letter that "it remains my understanding" that no journalists have been prosecuted for publishing classified information.

Referring to the DOJ investigation of Fox News reporter James Rosen for leaks related to North Korea, Holder said no charges were brought against the journalist and the probe was "appropriate."

"I do not agree that characterizations establishing probable cause for a search warrant for materials from a member of the news media during an ongoing investigation constitute an intent to prosecute that member of the news media," he wrote in the June 19 letter to Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Bob Goodlatte, a Virginia Republican.

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"I do believe that a thorough investigation of the disclosure of classified information that threatened national security was necessary and appropriate," he continued.

Goodlatte and the panel's crime subcommittee Chairman Jim Sensenbrenner, a Wisconsin Republican, originally wrote to Holder on May 29 asking for clarification of discrepancies between his testimony and an affidavit in support of the search warrant saying there is "probable cause" to believe Rosen was a co-conspirator in the leaks.

But until Wednesday, the committee had not received an on-the-record response from Holder. A letter from one of his deputies was "nonresponsive," the committee said.

Goodlatte and Sensenbrenner later issued a statement on Holder's response, saying that while they were "pleased" Holder had written, "it is perplexing that he found it necessary to dodge our questions for so long."

They also said they found several of his answers "troubling, including his acknowledgement that the Department of Justice regulations do not explicitly cover the procedures for gathering emails belonging to members of the media and the department's interpretation of the Privacy Protection Act of 1980."

"We intend to discuss both of these matters with Mr. Holder when he comes to Capitol Hill in the coming days to meet with us," they added.

Urgent: Should the NSA Spy on Americans? Vote Here Now.

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