The top Republican lawmakers on the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday sent a list of questions to Attorney General Eric Holder about his involvement in approving a search warrant for a Fox News reporter’s phone records and emails.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., and security and investigations subcommittee chair Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., said their letter concerns “the discrepancy” between Holder’s May 15 sworn testimony to the panel and the Department of Justice’s decision to obtain the Fox search warrant.
With the possibility of a perjury charge hanging over Holder, the lawmakers want him to answer their questions by June 5.
At issue is an exchange between Holder and Rep. Hank Johnson during the May 15 hearing in which Holder said the “potential prosecution” of the press “is not something I have ever been involved in, heard of, or would think would be a wise policy.”
But after the hearing, the media disclosed the contents of the search warrant for James Rosen, the Fox reporter, that stated “probable cause to believe,” Rosen is “an aider abettor and/or co-conspirator,” of a State Department employee who leaked information about North Korea.
“The media reports and statements issued by the Department regarding the search warrants for Mr. Rosen’s emails appear to be at odds with your sworn testimony before the Committee,” Goodlatte and Sensenbrenner wrote. “We believe – and we hope you will agree – it is imperative that the Committee, the Congress, and the American people be provided a full and accurate account of your involvement in and approval of these search warrants. ”
The letter asks a variety of questions about the warrant, including whether Holder approved the Rosen search warrant and whether Holder “personally read the search warrant application and accompanying affidavit,” describing Rosen as a co-conspirator.
The letter also asks, “How can you claim to have never even “heard of” the potential prosecution of the press but were, at a minimum, involved in discussions regarding Mr. Rosen? “