According to a report, the House Judiciary Committee is now investigating the possibility that Attorney General Eric Holder lied under oath when he testified on May 15 about the Department of Justice’s surveillance of reporters.
According to an unnamed aide closet to the matter who spoke to The Hill, the panel is looking at a specific statement made by Holder during an exchange with Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) about the power of the Justice Department to prosecute reporters under the Espionage Act of 1917.
“In regard to potential prosecution of the press for the disclosure of material — this is not something I’ve ever been involved in, heard of, or would think would be wise policy,” Holder said.
Yet since Holder personally approved a search warrant targeting James Rosen, chief Washington correspondent for Fox News, Holder’s statement is now coming under increased scrutiny.
The NBC report stated that the Justice Department confirmed that the search warrant for Rosen’s emails was approved “at the highest levels” of the department, including “discussions” with Holder.
Now the panel is investigating if Holder’s claim of never being involved in the potential prosecution of a journalist in a leaks case is contradicted by the NBC report, possibly indicating that he lied under oath.
Holder’s testimony was delivered at the hearing before the Department of Justice’s targeting of Rosen was publicly reported.
The hearing was held shortly after the Associated Press revealed their journalists were targeted by the Department of Justice as part of an investigation separate from the one involving Rosen.
Interestingly, Johnson has already come out in defense of Holder, saying that his statements were specific to the line of questioning about the Espionage Act and not in any way meant to pertain to any other investigation.
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“The attorney general’s statement that no journalists have been prosecuted under the Espionage Act during his tenure is accurate,” Johnson said to 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,” Johnson continued. “I support considering amendments to the Espionage Act and passing the Free Flow of Information Act to refine this balance.”
Sensenbrenner said that Holder misled the panel when he claimed not to know about the Associated Press probe as well as during the investigation of the fast and Furious scandal.
“As we saw in Fast and Furious and are seeing now, Attorney General Holder refuses to hold himself accountable,” Sensenbrenner said to The Hill. “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.”
It seems that Congress gets lied to by other government agencies with complete impunity at this point. Last year, for instance, the Department of Homeland Security actually lied to Congress about their spying activities.
While the House voted to find Holder in contempt for refusing to turn over documents on Fast and Furious to legislators, Holder remains the Attorney General.
It will be fascinating to see if he is actually held accountable in any meaningful way this time around.
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This article first appeared at End the Lie.
Madison Ruppert is the Editor and Owner-Operator of the alternative news and analysis database End The Lie and has no affiliation with any NGO, political party, economic school, or other organization/cause. He is available for podcast and radio interviews. Madison also now has his own radio show on UCYTV Monday nights 7 PM – 9 PM PT/10 PM – 12 AM ET. Show page link here: http://UCY.TV/EndtheLie. If you have questions, comments, or corrections feel free to contact him at [email protected]