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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

5/29/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

On investigating reporters, Holder said 'this is not something I've ever been involved in .'

In regards to his alleged investigation into reporters, the Department of Justice Eric Holder said in testimony on May 15, "In regard to potential prosecution of the press for the disclosure of material - this is not something I've ever been involved in, heard of, or would think would be wise policy." Lawmakers have found inconsistencies with this statement. As a result, the House Judiciary Committee is investigating whether Holder lied under oath.

Rep. James Sensenbrenner Jr. (Wis.), is adamant that Attorney General Eric Holder should resign, saying that he misled the panel during the investigation of the 'Fast and Furious' gun-walking operation.

Rep. James Sensenbrenner Jr. (Wis.), is adamant that Attorney General Eric Holder should resign, saying that he misled the panel during the investigation of the "Fast and Furious" gun-walking operation.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

5/29/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Politics & Policy

Keywords: Attorney General Eic Holder, investigation, oath, Department of Justice, Espionage Act of 1917


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Holder's response about whether the department could prosecute reporters under the Espionage Act of 1917 has come under tighter scrutiny. NBC News reported shortly afterwards that Holder personally approved a search warrant that labeled Fox News chief Washington correspondent James Rosen a co-conspirator in a national security leaks case.

The panel is investigating whether this claim from NBC contradicts Holder's response that he had not looked into -- or had been involved with a possible prosecution of the press in a leaks case.

That particular Judiciary hearing was held after the Associated Press revealed that the department had secretly subpoenaed its phone records in a separate leaks investigation. Johnson has since defended Holder, arguing his statement was specific to Johnson's line of questioning about the Espionage Act and not meant to pertain to other investigations.

"The attorney general's statement that no journalists have been prosecuted under the Espionage Act during his tenure is accurate," he says.

Johnson argued the act should be changed, as he believes the law could be misused to target reporters due to the way it was written.

"Congress is responsible for protecting the press while giving law enforcement the tools to prosecute officials who leak classified information," Johnson said. "I support considering amendments to the Espionage Act and passing the Free Flow of Information Act to refine this balance."

Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.), the ranking member of the Judiciary Committee, told The Hill that Holder was "forthright" with the panel and that there was "no need to turn a policy disagreement into allegations of misconduct."

Rep. James Sensenbrenner Jr. (Wis.), is adamant that Holder should resign, saying that he misled the panel during the investigation of the "Fast and Furious" gun-walking operation.

"As we saw in Fast and Furious and are seeing now, Attorney General Holder refuses to hold himself accountable," Sensenbrenner said. "He misled the Judiciary Committee under oath when he said he had not heard about Fast and Furious and he misled us again when he claimed to be unaware of the AP scandal. The head of DOJ should be someone the American people can trust. Attorney General Holder should resign."

President Obama had said last week said he was "troubled" by reports about the DOJ's surveillance of reporters, and argued that journalists "should not be at legal risk for doing their jobs."

He ordered Holder to review his department's guidelines governing investigations that involve reporters. The DOJ will present its findings to the president on July 12.

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