Attorney General Eric Holder said in an interview aired on NBC this morning that he has “no intention” of stepping down in the wake of revelations that his department spied on reporters.
“I’m a little concerned that things have gotten a little — a little out of whack,” he said of the rules governing leak investigations.
Holder said the law that required that Fox News’ James Rosen to be referred to as an abetter or co-conspirator to get a search warrant should be changed.
“So that you never call a reporter, who is simply doing his or her job in gathering news, a criminal. That is not something I’m comfortable with. I’m not comfortable with guidelines, with rules, with laws that would force us to do something like that,” he told NBC.
The attorney general also claimed that news media should have a chance to oppose record requests before they’re carried out.
“To make them aware of the fact that this is information that we are seeking, and allow them to raise any objections, any concerns that they have,” he said. “And I don’t think that our prosecutions are necessarily going to be put at risk by — by sharing that information, by making those notifications more frequently than we have.”
Holder is testifying this morning before a Senate Appropriations subcommittee on the Justice Department’s FY 2014 budget request.
White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters at yesterday’s briefing that Holder “absolutely” has the confidence of President Obama.
“He’s doing an excellent job, as I made clear when I was asked about this yesterday and pointed to a statement by Denis McDonough, the attorney general has the full confidence of the president of the United States and is handling his job very well,” Carney said.