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Michigan Democratic Rep. John Conyers, ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, told PJ Media that Attorney General Eric Holder has been put in a “bad fix” but remains a “pretty good guy on most of the issues.”
Conyers was asked for his opinion on the panel investigating Holder’s role in seizing the emails and phone records of AP reporters and Fox News correspondent James Rosen.
“I’m going to be meeting with the attorney general on this — is it tomorrow or the next day? I want to try to get some clarity on it,” said Conyers on Capitol Hill.
“Holder’s been put in a bad fix. I’m assuming that he has not ever authorized this, but there are people saying that there are memos that he did so my take is to talk with him about it.”
Conyers also said he does not view Holder as a “liability” for Democrats.
“No. Even if he’s made some mistakes, I don’t think he’s a liability,” Conyers said. “Been pretty good guy on most of the issues.”
Conyers told PJ Media that his meeting with Holder would be off-the-record.
In sworn testimony on May 15, Holder said, “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.”
News reports that followed Holder’s testimony have raised questions among the Judiciary Committee’s members.
“Media reports circulated revealing that in May, 2010, the Justice Department had sought and obtained a search warrant for emails belonging to Mr. James Rosen, the chief Washington correspondent for FOX News. The search warrant was issued in the investigation of the publication of an article by Mr. Rosen in June, 2009, that allegedly contained classified material,” said an open letter written by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte of Virginia and Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Jim Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin to Holder on Wednesday.
“The New Yorker magazine obtained a copy of the forty-four page search warrant affidavit, which alleged that the source of the material was Stephen Jin-Woo Kim, a Lawrence Liverpool National Laboratory employee detailed to the State Department. In the affidavit in support of the search warrant, FBI Agent Reginald B. Reyes stated, ‘…there is probable cause to believe that the Reporter [Rosen] has committed a violation’ of 18 USC §793(d) [the Espionage Act] ‘at the very least, either as an aider, abettor and/or co-conspirator of Mr. Kim.’”
The committee asked Holder to provide “all regulations and internal Justice Department policies that govern the issuance of search warrants for the email communications of members of the media” no later than June 5. Another Justice Department official responded Monday, but Goodlatte and Sensenbrenner said they’re waiting for a Holder response.
Texas Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert, a member of the Judiciary Committee, claims that Holder lied.
“It appears very clearly that he testified to something that was not true. Either that or he committed a fraud upon the court by participating in a fraud, a lie, upon the court to say that James Rosen was a co-conspirator, a flight risk, all this kind of stuff when he didn’t believe it,” Gohmert told PJ Media on Capitol Hill.
“Either he lied to the court or lied to us. It seems pretty basic.”
Despite this, Gohmert is not sure if Republicans have the “political will” to keep pressure on Holder.
“I don’t know if our party has the political will. Our speaker has said some things to indicate he does. We’ll see,” Gohmert said.