Holder involved in decision to ask for search warrant for reporter's private emails
May 24th, 2013
06:27 PM ET
5 years ago

Holder involved in decision to ask for search warrant for reporter's private emails

Washington (CNN) - Attorney General Eric Holder was involved in the Justice Department's decision to seek a search warrant for Fox News reporter James Rosen's private e-mails, a Justice official told CNN.

The decision to apply for the search warrant was vetted at the department's highest levels, including Holder, the official said, although the decision to issue a warrant was made by a federal magistrate judge.

The Obama administration's aggressive posture against leaks to reporters on national security matters has come under scrutiny recently as probes of Rosen and Associated Press reporters have come to light.

It prompted Obama to announce on Thursday he has directed Holder to review federal guidelines for investigating leaks and reporters. That review will include assembling a panel of media representatives.

Justice Department officials dug into the phone records of AP reporters, including work, cell, and home lines, the news agency said earlier this month. It said investigators were looking into its account of a foiled plot to bomb a U.S. airliner in May 2012.

AP reporters were never labeled as suspected criminals, but an FBI affidavit used to obtain the warrant for Rosen's e-mails described him as potentially being an "aider and abettor and/or co-conspirator" to the crime of disclosing government secrets.

That case centers on a 2009 Fox News report on classified intelligence about North Korea.

No charges have been brought against Rosen or Fox News.

Obama said Thursday he was "troubled by the possibility that leak investigations may chill the investigative journalism that holds government accountable."

- CNN's Kevin Liptak and Gregory Wallace contributed to this report

Filed under: Eric Holder • Fox News • Justice Department
soundoff (268 Responses)
  1. cyclonus11

    Nothing they did was illegal. They even went through the proper channels and obtained warrants.

    If you're going to throw fits about this, then you should've been throwing fits when they did the same thing to Wikileaks. Don't be hypocrites.

    May 26, 2013 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  2. Hcall

    I'm not sure how it works. Does Holder review Holders procedures before Holder investigates Holder, or is it the other way around?

    May 26, 2013 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  3. Rick

    Has there ever been a U.S. attorney general that could be trusted ? Just a bunch of political hacks for the administration they serve as I see it.

    May 26, 2013 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  4. freedomluchador

    This character holder instead of going after the banksters he is going after truth seekers. Our country not only is a banana republic is ran bye banana republic look alike...

    May 26, 2013 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  5. agent

    The first amendment does not apply to subversive types. I have asked the DOJ to turn over the names of everyone speaking against the government. We will label them, and process them, and let the IRS know who to audit from this list.

    May 26, 2013 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  6. Double Stnadards

    Yet the democrats don't care....

    May 26, 2013 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  7. Bill2000

    The press/ media is NOT what it was, 90% is now hack journalism. It is all about entertainment.
    Forget about if the story has been verified, it's about sensationalism – getting the story out first true or not.
    Fox News is the mouthpiece of the right-wing, Rupert Murdock, the Koch Brothers, Corporations, they are a propaganda machine, NOT a news agency.

    May 26, 2013 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  8. blakenaustin

    We need an independent counsel to investigate Holder. He needs to be removed from office, disbarred, and serve some time in a federal prison. Nothing but a petty criminal and compulsive liar.

    May 26, 2013 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  9. Anonymous

    Eric Holder is a turd that needs flushed!

    May 26, 2013 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  10. truth in journalism

    svann, so....... you get a judge you know is sympathetic to your cause. Remember Robert Bork?

    May 26, 2013 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  11. WhiteBear

    It's time for the charade that is the Obummer Administration to stop....Holder is now involved in another shadowy and shady deal...nothing other than his resignation will be acceptable. Next up...IMPEACH THE BUM NOW!

    May 26, 2013 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  12. Hoffa Lives

    Doesn't treason warrant the death sentence? How many of the Fox employees and managers are eligible by aiding Rosen in his treasonous acts? Come on Holder, throw the book at them. They are a disgrace and put lives at stake with their reporting just to get a statement saying North Korea would launch missiles if sanctions were imposed.

    May 26, 2013 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  13. Freedom Storm

    The Cancer of Tyranny Spreads

    NEW JERSEY: James Kaleda explains that the proposed NJ Gun Bills will not save any lives but will endanger them. He is ejected by Committee Chair Senator Norcross. This took place at the NJ Senate gun control hearings in Trenton on April 30, 2013.

    So now just how special is Chris Christie? We know. We know. He knew nothing. He was not aware. He learned about it a week later on the TV news.

    May 26, 2013 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  14. Tom1940

    What appears to be a contradiction in DOJ Eric Holders position is that on the one hand he is "bound" by law to "recuse" himself from involvement in cases being investigated by the DOJ in which he "has personal knowledge", but it is reported that he must be the person to "sign off" on particular kinds of search warrants, i.e. James Rosen, Fox News. Credibility, honesty and personal integrity should be the hallmark of our public officials. Instead, it appears, Mr. Holder is "picking and choosing" which investigations he does and does not wish to be personally associated with. This comes down to "lying, or honesty", and I do not know which one of these two things he would have the people believe. In view of his past performance, I don't think he cares which one it is, and I'm inclined to believe it is the former, rather than the latter.

    May 26, 2013 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  15. Chris

    Holder and Obama, two more people cheating on the American taxpayers. Sad isn't it, that given the opportunities of their lifetimes and they abuse them.

    May 26, 2013 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  16. Freddo

    Holder and Nixon would have made a great team.

    May 26, 2013 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  17. Realityblowz

    This whole thing is a dirty disgusting mess. It is an affront to everything that the soldiers that died for this country sacrificed their lives for. There is no way to defend this. Both the Left and Right should equally be angered.

    May 26, 2013 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  18. Will S

    Sounds like there is no story here. Warrant requested, granted, acted upon. Legally.

    May 26, 2013 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  19. Jeff

    Oh, I see. It has been decreed that Holder will be the sacrificial lamb. My money was on Carney but I guess I was wrong.

    May 26, 2013 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  20. eric

    No mention of undue influence on the Judge who issued the warrant? no story. . .

    May 26, 2013 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  21. Solomon Walker

    As though unprosecuted Felon Holder has the right to accuse or threaten any other American.

    Quite remarkable that Holder feels he does have that right.

    I guess sitting in a particular chair gives the impression to some that absolute power is theirs for the taking.

    I do not know what Mr. Rosen may or may not be involved in – but insofar as the "war on terror" is concerned – the Obama administration had better wake up and realize that this will open a can of worms they might not be well prepared to defend against.

    Few things I hate worse than a liar that makes fabrications against an innocent person while committing the offense themselves.

    Traitor Obama needs to understand that there may be more than merely impeachment that he will face in the future – and that he ought to remember to salute every single marine from this point forward as his conduct is demonstrating actual treason – an impeachable offense, and one that warrants incarceration against the enemy combatant that manifests treasonous behavior.

    May 26, 2013 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  22. Jim

    Someone in the obama government breaks a law... and obama attacks the press. I guess he was not really serious about that oath he took to defend the Consitution.

    May 26, 2013 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  23. Harry

    The Obama administration cheats by using the IRS to stop conservative groups get tax exempt status during an election year then has Holder investigate the only conservative news agency. I can't be the only thinking this is odd. Left, Right it's about freedom and really about not interfering in freedom. Also all you people who keep saying Holder got a warrant so there is no law breaking. That's not true when you get a warrant illegally because your the attorney genarel. If he did it all legal why is he passing the blame down the ladder. Own it if it was done correct,but it was not so everyone with your warrant so legal argument are wrong!

    May 26, 2013 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  24. DavM

    Comrades holder and Obama attack America ,it citizens and free press.

    May 26, 2013 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  25. BeverlyNC

    This is what Holder should have done. Freedom of the press does not include disclosing national security data that will put the lives of our military and CIA operatives in mortal danger or tell the enemy our strategies. We were having dangerous leaks of information and it was necessary and legal to find out where/who it was coming from.
    This was a patriotic and security move to protect our nation.
    Republicans need to do their damn job and work on issues like jobs, our economic recovery, infrastructure, education, new energy alternatives, and programs to benefit the People. In 6 years all they have done is rename post offices and spend one week out of every month in recess. Republicans in the Senate have issued 387 filibusters (normally there are NONE) and obstructed every single piece of legislation – not on its merits – but just to oppose everything single thing President Obama has tried to do to restore our nation and look out for We the People.
    Republicans need to stop their ridiculous witch-hunts and actually do the work they were elected to do.

    May 26, 2013 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
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