Attorney General Eric Holder is set to meet with President Barack Obama on Friday to put forward a report on suggested changes to the guidelines used by the Justice Department when conducting criminal investigations involving the news media, reports Politico.
The meeting was announced in a May 23 speech by Obama, which he made in reaction to criminal leak investigations that centered around the seizure of Associated Press phone call records and a search of an email account of Fox News reporter James Rosen earlier this year.
“Journalists should not be at legal risk for doing their jobs,” Obama said.
“Our focus must be on those who break the law.”
Obama added that Holder would report back to him on possible changes to the guidelines by July 12, which is Friday.
“I have no reason to believe that the deadline won't be met,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Thursday.
Holder’s report is expected to broaden current Justice Department policy which demands the approval of the attorney general when prosecutors look to acquire testimony from a reporter or obtain a journalist's “telephone toll records” to also include e-mails and other records.
The report is also thought to contain a requirement for more internal approvals for such requests, including from the department’s public affairs office.
This practice had been part of business as usual at the Justice Department for years, but had not been applied in some cases during the Bush Administration or in the recent Associated Press case.
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