Eric Holder Under Scrutiny

The House Judiciary Committee is seeking to determine whether Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. lied under oath during recent testimony before the panel when he discussed a Justice Department investigation into the news gathering efforts of a Fox News reporter.

The committee sent a letter to Holder on Wednesday asking that he clarify the department’s policy on obtaining search warrants for the e-mails of journalists and to explain what he knew about the investigation into Fox News Chief Washington Correspondent James Rosen at the time that he testified before the committee May 15.

Holder’s testimony before the panel came just days after the Justice Department confirmed that it had obtained the telephone records of several Associated Press reporters. During the hearing, Holder was asked about the use of the Espionage Act to prosecute journalists, and Holder said that prosecutions against reporters usually do not succeed. He also said that he had never been personally involved in the potential prosecution of a journalist who disclosed sensitive material.

“That is not something that I have ever been involved in, or would think would be a wise policy,” Holder told the panel.

But just days later, The Washington Post reported that when the Justice Department began investigating possible leaks of classified information about North Korea in 2009, investigators tracked Rosen’s telephone and e-mail and security access records at the State Department. As part of the probe, law enforcement officials characterized Rosen as a possible “co-conspirator” for allegedly soliciting classified information from former State Department arms expert Stephen Jin-Woo Kim.

Subsequent news reports have confirmed that Holder was personally involved in signing off on the Rosen warrant.

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