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. Iceaxdave

    Be is are am was were been has have had

    May 25, 2013 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  2. The REAL Truth...

    With an unprecedented number of National Security leaks during this Administrations term, the right wonders why the clamp down.??? Given the actions of the Obstructionist Party over the last 4.5 yrs, it's about time the Obama administration tracked these leaks down ad stopped them. Transparency is one thing, 1st Amendment rights taking precedence over treasonous acts is another.

    Where was the right wing outrage when the Bush administration outed an active CIA agent? If the shoe fits?

    May 25, 2013 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  3. Cros

    So Holder is asked to evaluate the appropriateness of the warrants he personally signed off on. Hmmm, let me guess how this is going to turn out. Why doesn't he recuse himself from the case, and let someone independent do it? Better yet, why doesn't he recuse himself from office and let someone competent do it?

    May 25, 2013 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  4. Gadgtfreak

    If he is getting classified information, then he s party to a crime and should be investigated. The party on the other end is definitely a criminal and should be prosecuted. If he is protected by the reporter then he is a party to the crime. Freedom of the press does not give a reporter the right to obtain classified info. That's called spying.

    May 25, 2013 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  5. Freedom Storm

    "Contents" line item from the book "Tyranny is Fun" by Barry Soetoro

    Chapter 1 ... The Path to Marshall Law

    May 25, 2013 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  6. Jay

    Someone needs to get his/her politically biased head out of his ignorant heinie. AGs do NOT "approve warrants". JUDGES DO. AGs can only REQUEST warrants. JUDGES issue, or deny, them.

    May 25, 2013 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  7. Nodack

    If there was no reason to check his emails then the judge wouldn't have authorized it in the first place. I don't agree with the targeting of the AP guys, but the FOX guy if true was part of anti US government activities and aiding and abetting and co conspirator to disclosing government secrets. He was a FOX reported which means he is anti US government to start with just like terrorists.

    May 25, 2013 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  8. dc

    Enough already!

    May 25, 2013 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  9. Free thought

    Eric 'Fast and Furious' Holder and President 'You Didnt Build That' Obama, make Nixon look like a petty thief.

    May 25, 2013 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  10. GI Joe

    Find which republican Congress-critter leaked secrets to the journalists.

    May 25, 2013 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  11. Evergreen

    Judging by some of these posts it is OK to out CIA agents and CIA operations.

    May 25, 2013 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  12. Larry L


    The Obama administration, as a whole, is incredibly arrogant and heavy-handed
    When the opposition Party declares (from day-one) to obstruct all progress and make a President a "one-term President" what choices are available? When compromise becomes a dirty word – avoided by Republicans seeking election from their base what can a President do to move the country forward? Republicans in the Senate filibustered EVERYTHING! They wouldn't even allow DEBATE! Mitch McConnell filibustered HIS OWN PROPOSAL! What would you do in that case?

    May 25, 2013 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  13. Michigan patriot

    This administration is the worst ever. Obama said he was going to have the most transparent administration, and because he is an arrogant he still says it is. Holder is as incompetent as they come, he lies through his teeth,just like "his boss." Their favorite words are: "I don't know." " I just found out." This administration is a "joke."

    May 25, 2013 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  14. Data Driven

    As predicted, no defense of Rosen's actions from posters here. Doubtless because they're not reading what the story is about.

    Go spin a top, conservatives. If you want to be taken seriously in political debates, confront those details that don't conform to your narrative.

    May 25, 2013 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  15. Bill

    Send Holder to jail.

    May 25, 2013 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  16. vidal808

    If its a matter of national security I see no problem why Holder would not wanting to find out where the leak is coming from. I am glad he was on the ball on this matter. Congratulation President Obama and Secretary Holden.

    May 25, 2013 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  17. sharky

    LOL I am sure Obama told you to say that as you have NO idea what you are even talking about OR you are being oddly sarcastic.

    May 25, 2013 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  18. sharky

    I find it absolutely hilarious beyond reason that Holder is going to "investigate" himself over his conduct unbecoming of targeting Rosen. That is outright hilarious. Yet more bright moments from this Administration.

    May 25, 2013 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  19. NameGoose

    Get Real Johnny 57! Obama and Holder are as illegal as they come...they both must go, and throw Clinton in jail, too.

    May 25, 2013 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  20. The Other Bob


    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.
    In what way is signing off on a request for a warrant illegal?

    May 25, 2013 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  21. ggggg

    lock him up!

    May 25, 2013 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  22. Hal Atosis

    Barry is deeply disturbed about a lot of scandals these days – that his posse is getting caught doing them.

    May 25, 2013 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  23. watch61

    johnny57 I hope you were being sarcastic, because if not you are severely uninformed. By your standards Daniel Ellsberg should have been executed, Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward should have been at least prosecuted.
    Please, this warrant was executed in 2009, if there was any evidence of any criminal wrongdoing by Mr. Rosen he would have been charged looooong time ago!

    May 25, 2013 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  24. Floyd from Illinois

    Yeah, law enforcement, investigating a felony, asked for and received a search warrant from the appropriate judge.

    As usual, Cons are complaining about nothing.

    May 25, 2013 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  25. Scorpio

    I don't know, I was not there, I did not read it, I excuse my self, I don't know who was in charge, It was not me, we need to wait for the facts, I found out from the press, no body told me, and so on. I sounds like the Obama administration gets their queue from The Abbott and Costello: Who's On First? Routine. The thing that blows my mind is that people believe Their crap.

    May 25, 2013 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
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