Going into the weekend last week, we questioned whether or not Attorney General Eric Holder had a perjury problem. It appears that he does. A panel for the House Judiciary Committee is now investigating whether Holder lied under oath when he testified on May 15 about the Department of Justice's surveillance of reporters. Specifically when he was asked about prosecuting reporters under the Espionage Act of 1917, Holder said, "In regard to potential prosecution of the press for the disclosure of material -- that is not something I've ever been involved in, heard of, or would think would be wise policy."
Eric Holder personally approved a search warrant that labeled Fox News correspondent James Rosen a co-conspirator in a national security leaks case.
The Hill reports,
Holder's testimony at the hearing came before Justice's actions against Rosen had become public. The hearing was held after The Associated Press revealed the Department of Justice had secretly subpoenaed its phone records in a separate leaks investigation.
Johnson defended the attorney general, saying Holder's statement was specific to the 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 told The Hill. "My point remains that the law as written could be misused. Congress is responsible for protecting the press while giving law enforcement the tools to prosecute officials who leak classified information. I support considering amendments to the Espionage Act and passing the Free Flow of Information Act to refine this balance."
Representative Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI), second-ranking Judiciary Committee member said that Holder should resign.
"As we saw in Fast and Furious and are seeing now, Attorney General Holder refuses to hold himself accountable," he 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."
Holder's DOJ was so aggressive in obtaining a warrant for Rosen that the New Yorker's Ryan Lizza reported that the DOJ was so aggressive that it took three attempts before they got a judge that would acquiesce. Lizza writes,
The new documents show that two judges separately declared that the Justice Department was required to notify Rosen of the search warrant, even if the notification came after a delay. Otherwise: "The subscriber therefore will never know, by being provided a copy of the warrant, for example, that the government secured a warrant and searched the contents of her e-mail account," Judge John M. Facciola wrote in an opinion rejecting the Obama Administration's argument.
Machen appealed that decision, and in September, 2010, Royce C. Lamberth, the chief judge in the Federal District Court for the District of Columbia, granted Machen's request to overturn the order of the two judges.
In fact, because of the co-conspirator charge of Holder's DOJ, Lizza listed the information they wanted to explore:
—"Records or information related to Stephen Kim's or the Author's knowledge of laws, regulations, rules and/or procedures prohibiting the unauthorized disclosure of national defense or classified information."
—"Any classified document, image, record, or information, and any communications concerning such documents, images, records, or information."
—"Any document, image, record, or information concerning the national defense, including but not limited to documents, maps, plans, diagrams, guides, manuals, and other Department of Defense, U.S. military, and/or weapons material, as well as sources and methods of intelligence gathering, and any communications concerning such documents, images, records, or information."
—"Records or information related to the state of mind of any individuals seeking the disclosure or receipt of classified, intelligence and/or national defense information."
I'm wondering what type of linguistic gymnastics Holder will engage in to reconcile his claims of not being involved in what he obviously was involved in.
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