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. johnny57

    I hope they catch this Rosen rat, and lock him up and throw away the key! I am glad that Obama and Holder are on this.

    May 25, 2013 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  2. silvertop

    Obama said Thursday he was "troubled by the possibility that leak investigations may chill the investigative journalism that holds government accountable."
    Don't tell me that Obama does not know what Eric Holder does

    May 25, 2013 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  3. brian

    We all do what our boss wants whether it's expressed explicitly or daily. The message was there that opposition should be silenced and their efforts impeded. Holder does not have the authority to ok this. The charge was false to get what he wanted (leaker). If this does not intimidate reporters, this certainly will intimidate any whistle blowers from speaking out because their ID is no longer safe..... Who suffers? WE THE PEOPLE are always the lose as corruption can go unchecked when we are all silent. After all, the silent, willing, slaves are easier to rule than people who exercise their free speech, will, etc. It's not the war of ISMs or liberal vs conservative. What's done is not to advance or protect liberals. It's to protect the ADMIN and its shady actions. It's now simply freedom vs. the corrupt. Make your choice.

    May 25, 2013 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  4. SixDegrees

    The United States does not have any national secrecy laws. Those guilty of mishandling classified information are those who are responsible for protecting it in the first place – those who receive such information are NOT committing any crime, and are free to do what they like with it, including publishing it in a public forum.

    How about the DoJ focus on the real criminals – those who had access to classified information and leaked it – and stop trying to quash freedom of the press and otherwise suppress political enemies, real or imagined?

    May 25, 2013 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  5. Jim

    Tell me again what the central was for not only the Bush Administration but the entire theme for the GOP
    Oh yeah, NATIONAL SECURITY!!!!

    May 25, 2013 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  6. jodo

    @johnny57 Spoken like a true authoritarian progressive. Want a dictatorship and state run press? Allow stuff like this to occur unchecked. You sir, are the type that would've goose-stepped your way to ruin, had you been born 7 decades earlier

    May 25, 2013 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  7. Grumpy2012

    I wonder if Holder tried to tap Bob Woodward's phones?

    Even Nixon wasn't that stupid.

    May 25, 2013 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  8. mkuske

    Obama administration is just a mob of thugs, governing through intimidation. Chicago-style politics at its worst. He wasn't joking when he said "punish our enemies", he meant with the full weight of the government, legal or illegal.

    May 25, 2013 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  9. Diablo135

    Johnny57, I know you are just trying to troll, but I'll engage you. Why do you think Rosen is a rat? It's already been established that he didn't do anything. So please, why do you think like that? Or is it ok with you that our government oversteps its bounds (yet again)

    May 25, 2013 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  10. mkuske

    The Obama administration is a mob of thugs, governing through intimidation. It's Chicago-style politics at its worst. He wasn't joking when he directed Latinos to "punish you enemies". He's been doing that himself with the full weight of the government both legally and illegally.

    May 25, 2013 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  11. BHO123

    I thought this was supposed to be the super-transparent administration?

    May 25, 2013 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  12. Just Me

    What year is this 1984? Think book

    May 25, 2013 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  13. onepercenter

    Definitely lock him away...before he has a chance to make the connection between obama and all these scandals!

    May 25, 2013 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  14. G

    Jail time and impeachment need to be in play very soon or the masses of true Americans will start to move.

    May 25, 2013 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  15. Deathstalker74

    Not sure who the worse liar is, Obama or Holder. They deserve each other. Unfortunately, those of us with any common sense who see clearly what they're doing to this country don't deserve them.

    May 25, 2013 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  16. miss muji

    You got the wrong rats, bro.
    The rats you seek are Holder and 0bozo !!

    May 25, 2013 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  17. seven kowalski

    Ib read in a earlier post "i voted for him both times but now i see". where the hell have you been? thanks for giving him four more to destroy our childrens future! Pay attention people! Please cast an educated vote or just stay home!
    Obama got in on a guilty white vote(vote for obama to show they aren't racist). What kept him there? Not his performance! Judge a man on his morals n character not the color of his skin! He's a liar and surrounds himself with like company! Holder should be cellies with Bubba

    May 25, 2013 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  18. diane

    Me to, johnny57.

    May 25, 2013 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  19. msmarlene

    Dear John(ny),
    Rosen isn't a rat, he's a reporter trying to do his job. If you start trying to limit the rights of reporters you disagree with, you'll soon be after the rights of ordinary citizens as well. Holder may end up a sacrificial lamb in this but he'll probably go on to bigger and better things in support of his master. Someone has to step down in order for someone else to step up and, with this administration, the one stepping up may be worse than the one stepping down.

    May 25, 2013 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  20. ozzi7

    Holder's policies are Obama's policies. Do not divorce the Executive Office from the Justice Department. Eric Holder has turned himself into J Edgar Hoover lite and Obama approves of this.

    May 25, 2013 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  21. ozzi7

    Why the media continues to separate the Executive Branch from the Justice Deparment reflects media's own stupidity. Eric Holder is J Edgar Hoover Lite and Obama approves of his tactics. Obama is using Richard Nixon's book and going beyond it. Obama needs to be impeached and impeached now.

    May 25, 2013 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  22. NameFrank Deery

    No, Obama, letting Holder investigate Holder
    won't fly! Like putting the fox in the henhouse. Americans are not stupid!

    Where is the liberal media on this? They have enough storms and bridge collapses to
    Dodge the real story of today: the Obama Administration is inept, but hides behind the
    Race Card!

    I turn 70 this coming week-And lived through
    Watergate. Same spin and arrogance now, from Obama, as from Nixon. But no terrorists or super-storms then to Cloud
    the issues, and Nixon did not "bug" the press. Obama has-twice now. Who is next?

    May 25, 2013 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  23. lIb

    Same here Johnny! Press talks too much! Many journalis will sell out their mothers. American people have no right knowing everything, i don't want to., as long as this president is protecting our safety KUDOS to him and HOlder.

    May 25, 2013 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  24. JohnRJohnson

    Leaking sensitive information which concerns national security, not to mention of lives of our service people overseas, is a violation of federal law. If a reporter receives or entices someone with that knowledge to reveal it, both parties should be investigated and, if necessary, prosecuted. No government can function properly without the ability to keep secrets vital to its security, the 1st amendment notwithstanding. When a reporter knowingly exposes such information because it will get them a big byline, they should expect to have their private communications subpoenaed. The reporter in this case was from FOX News, which has made it quite clear over the last 5 years that it will do just about anything to denigrate this administration.

    May 25, 2013 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  25. Iceaxdave

    ...but Holder and the White House thought the Wiki-leaks guy was a hero! I hope Issa makes Obozo pay for his wanton ideological disregard for our country.

    May 25, 2013 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
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