Attorney General Eric Holder is fighting for his job with a charm offensive. Emphasis on the “offensive” part.
The Justice Department began contacting D.C. bureau chiefs of major print and broadcast news organizations yesterday to set up a meeting with Attorney General Eric Holder to discuss changes to the department’s guidelines for subpoenas to news organizations. A source close to Holder said that in retrospect, he regrets the breadth and wording of the investigation involving Fox’s James Rosen (which Holder approved), and recognizes that the subpoena for AP records (Holder had recused himself from that case) took in more phone lines than necessary.
Does he regret the part when he voluntarily lied under oath to Congress?
What we have in the paragraph above is an indication that Holder et al believe their real problem is not with the law or what they’ve done in violation of it, but with the media. If they can square things away with the media, their legal infractions and abuses will take care of themselves.
Unfortunately, they may be right about that. Beltway reporters live to be charmed by Democrats.
To that end, Holder’s allies are willing to admit just enough to skate by.
“The A.G. realizes that things might have gotten a little out of balance, and he wants to make changes to be sure the rules fully account for the balance between the First Amendment and law enforcement,” the source said. The first media meeting will be held at main Justice, likely later this week. A later meeting will include First Amendment advocates.
The US attorney general is supposed to be a First Amendment advocate. We’ve been told how brilliant and scrupulous Eric Holder is for years. Yet he needs remedial on the job training to remind him what’s in the very first amendment to the document he swore to uphold and defend…? Oh, and a new shield law to remind him that he shouldn’t abuse the press? Laws don’t stop determined criminals, as any good prosecutor knows.
We should review what’s happened here. Eric Holder’s Justice Department conducted at least two fishing expeditions against news media organizations. His Justice Department swept up the phone records of dozens of lines at the Associated Press, lines used by multiple reporters, to go after a leaker who leaked a story that the Obama administration wanted to crow about anyway. Holder later claimed that that leak was so serious that it “put Americans at risk.” He still hasn’t justified that statement.
In the second case, Holder personally approved sweeping up the phone records of Fox News’ James Rosen. The sweep was so widespread that it picked up Rosen’s parents’ phone records. In the affidavit requesting the sweep, Holder’s Justice Department accused Rosen of criminal conspiracy. Holder judge-shopped until he found a judge (the third he had taken the affidavit to) who would approve the sweep. Holder still hasn’t even really explained any of his actions in this case. The leak involved North Korea’s response to US actions, which SURPRISE, involve a nuclear test. It may be news to Eric Holder, but North Korea responds to everything with a nuclear test. They responded to both the cancellation and resurrection of Arrested Development with a nuclear test. They responded to the Texas Rangers spectacular collapse at the end of last season with a nuclear test. Word is they’re preparing to respond to Justin Bieber’s Ferrari cruise and the season premiere of Keeping Up With the Kardashians with a nuclear test. It’s just what they do.
When Holder was asked under oath about the AP sweep, before his own personal approval of the Rosen sweep had become publicly known, Holder denied that he had ever been personally involved in investigating reporters or accusing them of crimes. That statement is no longer operative, as they say, and it’s being investigated by the House Judiciary Committee for possible perjury.