Attorney General Eric Holder has no choice but to resign after signing off on a search warrant to seize a Fox News reporter's private e-mails, Washington Post conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin asserted Friday
Rubin, citing President Barack Obama's own words condemning leak investigations, said the attorney general was obviously wrong to authorize a search warrant identifying Fox News reporter James Rosen as a possible "co-conspirator" in violation of the nation's Espionage Act.
In a major speech on counterterrorism policies Thursday, the president said he was "troubled by the possibility that leak investigations may chill the investigative journalism that holds government accountable," and that "journalists should not be at legal risk for doing their jobs."
Rubin said Holder "engaged in a practice, if the president is to be believed, that the president disagreed with and is in contravention of Justice Department guidelines on surveillance of the media."
Rubin noted that Holder's behavior in the Rosen case and the FBI's seizure of records from the Associated Press raise serious questions.
The warrant affidavit seeking Rosen's emails and phone records questioned the Fox reporter's own potential criminal liability and claimed that he could either flee or obstruct the Department of Justice's investigation of leaked intelligence information. Rubin said it's worth exploring whether Holder misled the judge when signing off on the document.
Rubin also noted that Holder had testified before Congress "in an unbelievable fashion" that he had removed himself from the Associated Press case.
"Holder frankly should have more concern about prosecution than Lois Lerner," Rubin said, referring to the IRS official at the heart of the scandal involving the agency's targeting of conservative groups.
"He acted in ways supposedly contrary to the president’s direction, without informing him and in a manner that called into question the president’s and the DOJ’s integrity and respect for the rule of law."
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