On Thursday, Karl Rove told Fox News’ Greta van Susteren that Attorney General Eric Holder lied under oath to Congress when he said he had never been involved in any case targeting journalists, Jim Hoft reported at the Gateway Pundit.
“With 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,“ Holder told Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Ga., last week.
But NBC News reported Thursday that Holder signed off on a “controversial search warrant” that named Fox News’ James Rosen a “possible co-conspirator” in violations of the Espionage Act and authorized seizure of his private emails.
“The disclosure of the attorney general’s role came as President Barack Obama, in a major speech on his counterterrorism policy, said Holder had agreed to review Justice Department guidelines governing investigations that involve journalists,” Michael Isikoff reported.
Rove said that Holder’s comment “raised a doubt” in his mind because of Justice Department guidelines, which he said are “very clear.”
“Any kind of subpoenas like we saw issued on Rosen or issued on the AP have to bear the approval of the attorney general” unless the attorney general recuses himself as Holder did in the case of the AP, Rove said.
NBC said that Holder recused himself “because he had been questioned as a witness in the underlying investigation into a leak about a foiled bomb plot in Yemen.”
“His role in personally approving the Rosen search warrant had not been previously reported,” Isikoff added.
While the Justice Department did not immediately respond to a request for comments, Isikoff said, it later issued a statement about the review of media guidelines.
This review is consistent with Attorney General Holder’s long-standing belief that freedom of the press is essential to our democracy,” the DOJ said. “At the same time, the attorney general believes that leaks of classified information damage our national security and must be investigated using appropriate law enforcement tools. We remain steadfast in our commitment to following all laws and regulations intended to safeguard national security as well as the First Amendment interests of the press in reporting the news and the public in receiving it.”
Although the Justice Department said it did not intend to press charges against Rosen, many warned that the agency was out to criminalize journalism.
“With the decision to label a Fox News television reporter a possible ‘co-conspirator’ in a criminal investigation of a news leak, the Obama administration has moved beyond protecting government secrets to threatening fundamental freedoms of the press to gather news,” said the New York Times.
“Obama’s hyper-aggressive leak policy—and his administration’s potential equation of routine journalistic interaction with criminality—is nothing new. But the fury in the pages and on the websites of elite outlets about these positions certainly is,” the Huffington Post said.
Video of Rove’s comments can be seen here. Holder’s statement to Johnson can be viewed here.
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- Judicial Watch: Emails show Administration singled out Fox News for attacks
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