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. Liberal Democrat

    I voted for Obama in both elections. But now seeing all these outright attacks he and his administration are making on our freedoms and the arrogance which he acts, never again. Oh, and my friends and I thought President Bush was guilty of similar actions but there was absolutely no hard evidence that he did anything illegal. If there was, we surely would have gone after him. But we looked and looked and could not prove anything and that is why President Bush is not guilty. But there is evidence that President Obama and his administration, including Hillary are guilty and should be held accountable for their actions

    May 25, 2013 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  2. Secession is the Answer

    When is he going to be indicted for the Fast and Furious debacle?

    May 25, 2013 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  3. Kuff

    Which judge signed this warrant? I thought judges were supposed to protect the rights of the individual. I guess judges now rubber-stamp anything the DOJ puts in front of them (although most of them probably have always),

    May 25, 2013 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  4. sgurdog

    Replace Holder with an AG that will focus on more white collar criminals that he deems to big to prosecute.

    May 25, 2013 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  5. Lyn Morse

    No one has the right to violate classified info... reporter or not. And if one does one takes chances. Obviously the system worked as Mr. Rosen was not arrested but Mr. Holder correct to check and obtain warrant.

    May 25, 2013 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  6. Joe M.

    Funny, on May 15th, before the Rosen story broke, Holder gave testimony to Congress that he has never been involved in any pursuit against a journalist, that he wouldn't support such a pursuit, and that he doesn't think it would be good policy to begin with. Not that the media will actually connect these two dots of lying in front of Congress.

    May 25, 2013 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  7. Sculptordad

    "may chill investigative journalism"? That's exactly what these creeps want!

    May 25, 2013 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  8. really

    Holder has the honor of investigating himself. That's transparency.

    May 25, 2013 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  9. Suur Kurat

    Erik Holder is running the Treasury Dept like he would a back alley cräp game.

    May 25, 2013 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  10. m123

    What a great president we have, he has no clue from anyone even his AG
    Promising to be the most transparent and proactive admin ever, nothing gets attention til Obummer sees on MSNBC.
    How great, just pretend you don't know anything about anything
    What a liar
    Fits well with most libs, they crucified Bush, but now all is well with the only president who kills American citizens without trial
    Yeah, that's a lot better than water boarding them and let them live.
    What a loser

    May 25, 2013 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  11. Luke

    Lyn Morse.... We may have the right to check and obtain a warrant; however, he does not have the right to lie to Congress and the American people about his involvement

    May 25, 2013 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  12. Suur Kurat

    As in the USSR, nobody is permitted to make comments critical of the commie regime. Stands to reason that that our current regime would operate under the same tactics which force the people to remain silent.

    May 25, 2013 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  13. HansM

    Looks like news agencies need to use encryption for all their communications.

    May 25, 2013 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  14. dd

    The Obama Administration is using coercion against opponents. Do I now live in Russia or China? Why is the US news media allowing this? The IRS, the DOJ, the EPA, Health and Human Services .... America is being threaten by the corrupt Chicago Politician!

    May 25, 2013 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  15. Sailor

    Are we really surprised by this?

    May 25, 2013 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  16. Data Driven

    Interesting that all the conservatives here puffing their feathers like banty roosters don't mention the actual details of why Rosen was being looked at in the first place.

    Go ahead. Explain to us why DOJ was looking into Rosen. Explain what Rosen was doing. Then, using logical and cogent arguments, explain why Holder was wrong to investigate Rosen's actions.

    chirp, chirp chirp.

    May 25, 2013 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  17. Next

    Third world government tactics leads to third world revolutions............................

    May 25, 2013 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  18. Chewbacca

    Fire Holder. Hire Nancy Grace!!

    May 25, 2013 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  19. Grumpy2012

    There were laws enacted after Watergate to protect reporters from administrative witch hunts.

    Holder chose to ignore those laws.

    The similarities between the Obama administration and the Nixon administration are growing daily.

    May 25, 2013 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  20. hammer

    Investigate all leaks even the ones that the Obama administration put out their and then it wouldn't look like it was a scandal.

    May 25, 2013 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  21. birdyboy

    What you people don't get is the media is trying to run a story of a C.I.A. ongoing investigation against a possible terrorist attack .It's the media you should be upset with.The DOJ asked them to not run the story and they said no. I guess some of the fools on here don't remember the N.Y.POST running a front page picture of "The F.B.I. is looking for these "Bagmen". It was a photo of two high school kids that ran track and were at the Boston Marathon.They were of Middle-eastern descent and were innocent. This "Sensationalism" that the media tries to pawn off as a story are often incorrect and will get someone killed if it hasn't already.

    May 25, 2013 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  22. Jean-Sartre

    Rick McDaniel – The everything is against the JEWS Blah, Blah, Blah is wearing sort of thin...

    An undercover agent of ours was OUTED while working in an al Qaeda group, and stopping an airplane bomber attack. The press OUTED this guy, and put his life in danger, plus destroyed a very valuable asset in the process. It is almost impossible to get an asset into al Qaeda!

    The Republicans have been screaming for years that President Obama do something about all the leaks; now, when he does, it is so, so, bad...

    You just can't have it both ways!

    I think that if President Obama came out in favor of sunshine and fresh air, the TP/GOP would immediately come out against it...

    May 25, 2013 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  23. Sh

    Lyn Morse: per the Supreme Court, reporters are not criminals for reporting. The crime, if one was committed, is by the leaker, not the reporter. At least not until Obama became President. And how about the prospect of Holder investigating his own actions. Can't you just see his final report, "After my own impartial and thoroush investigation into my actions, I have concluded that I have done nothing wrong and therefore should not go to jail. Case closed. Old news." And the President, of course, would first hear of this via MSNBC. Yes folks, that's the new reality with these guys in power. Welcome to Chicago-stule politics. Laws exist only to limit and punish the "bad guys", and since Obama and Holder see themselves as "good guys", none of our laws apply to them.

    May 25, 2013 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  24. Rock Reynolds

    Holder has been ordered to investigate himself by Obama. Finally – some transparency, not.

    May 25, 2013 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  25. Jim

    The Obama administration, as a whole, is incredibly arrogant and heavy-handed (which the last few weeks should have taught even the stupidest amongst us). The fact that Holder is still in office is beyond amazing. Either he's a complete idiot and complete failure as a leader because he lets his people run rampant and do all manner of illegal things; or he's a "big brother" maniac who feels he can do anything he wants to further the President's agenda. Take your pick, but he should have been fired long ago either way.

    May 25, 2013 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11