Holder's Worst Week Ever?
In a letter to Holder dated May 29, Goddlette and Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), chairman of the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security, maintain “that it is clear now that you were aware that the Department was engaged in a criminal investigation of a member of the media as far back as 2010,” a fact that “contradicts your testimony before the Committee in which you stated clearly that: 'With regard to potential prosecution of the press for the disclosure of material, that is not something that I have ever been involved in, heard of, or would think would be a wise policy.'”
Evidence, Goodlatte and Sensenbrenner said in the letter, appears “to be at odds with your sworn testimony before the Committee. We believe – and we hope you will agree – it is imperative that the Committee, the Congress, and the American people be provided a full and accurate account of your involvement in and approval of these search warrants.”
“How can you claim to have never ‘been involved’ in the potential prosecution of a member of the media but you were admittedly involved in discussions regarding Mr. Rosen’s emails?” Goodlatte and Sensenbrenner asked.
The two lawmakers also asked Holder, “If you believe, as you testified, that prosecutions of members of the media ‘have not fared well in American history,’ why did you permit the Department to investigate Mr. Rosen as a co-conspirator or aider/abettor?” They further queried, “At the time the Justice Department requested the search warrant did the Department intend to prosecute Mr. Rosen under the Espionage Act? If the Department did not intend to prosecute Mr. Rosen, why did the Department refer to Mr. Rosen in its affidavit accompanying the search warrant affidavit as a ‘co-conspirator’, and allege that ‘at the very least’ Mr. Rosen was an aider and abettor?”
In a statement, DOJ said there was never any intention to prosecute Rosen.
“The search warrant application in the Kim matter was focused on obtaining evidence relating to allegations that a government official had leaked highly classified information, which was a threat to our national security,” it read. “The warrant application was drafted during the investigation phase of the case, which came before any decisions about prosecution. And nearly three years after completing our thorough investigation of the Kim matter, the Department does not anticipate bringing any additional charges. During the Attorney General’s tenure, no reporter has ever been prosecuted.”
On Friday, Holder met with several officials from news organizations to assuage fears that the First Amendment is under attack by the DOJ, assuring them that he is looking to change the manner in which his department pursues leak investigations involving reporters.