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. Michael

    If you have to hide what you do it must be wrong.
    If you have to hide your face doing it that makes you a coward .
    If you beleive in what you do you should be willing to show you face and die for it .

    May 25, 2013 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  2. Candid One

    This Fox Reporter issue is actually distinct from the AP complaint. Look at the other link on CNN about how Fox knew about a subpoena of one of its reporters, James Rosen, the same reporter as this article mentions, and that was three years ago. AP's complaint is about a separate subpoena event.

    May 25, 2013 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  3. pjoe

    Incompetent or corrupt? Or both?

    May 25, 2013 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  4. Yon

    Lying to congress is illegal

    May 25, 2013 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  5. Dennis


    May 25, 2013 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  6. Teamchaos

    If holder knew them so did Obama

    May 25, 2013 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  7. Teamchaos

    Notice it was just fix news and the IRS scandal was just republican ill call it a pattern

    This goes to the top like Benghazi they removed Klingon so she can run I. The next election.

    May 25, 2013 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  8. mom of 4

    Can you say "John Mitchell"? For you younger folks, he was the Attorney General when Nixon was in office. He was forced to resign, tried, found guilty and went to prison. The similarities are no coincidence – because it's a cover up!

    May 25, 2013 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  9. BLE7481

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

    It's hard to formulate a response to this other than, "You have GOT to be kidding."

    May 25, 2013 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  10. Anonymous

    Well, do not expect any apologies Mr. Attorney General. So Fox was notified of the warrants three years ago. Hannity, O'reily, Greta, and even Roger Ailes acted like this was new! This was a scandal, proof of corruption, and water gate the second. The parent company, headquarters , and the CEO get the notice, but this never made it to Fox right? Thank God for my brothers and sisters being the majority in this country.

    May 25, 2013 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  11. Skarphace

    Republican Congressmen are upset because the investigations into intelligence leaks that they themselves demanded have lead to somebody from Fox News?

    Gotta love the irony.

    May 25, 2013 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  12. Bob

    Hey Cassius – sounds like Nixon, I mean, Obama could use your help.

    May 25, 2013 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  13. nchurricane

    No need to argue with Liberal zombies nothing will ever be the obama administration's fault. They'll never admit he is a terrible leader and that his admin is fueled on excuses and the refusal to be accountable for anything. Now talk about the guy who has been out of office for five years dem-bags.

    May 25, 2013 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  14. KEVIN

    It is that Federal magistrate judge who should be in front of congress explaining why he issued that warrant. That Judge made the final decision. Anybody can ASK for anything, but it is the Judge who makes the ultimate decision.

    May 25, 2013 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm |
  15. Deb in MT


    Dear John(ny),
    Rosen isn't a rat, he's a reporter trying to do his job.
    A reporter trying to do his job? And, his job was what, exactly: publically publishing classified information that threatened the safety and effectiveness of an embedded agent in al-Quaeda, while simultaneously destroying an on-going multinational security operation that was providing us with information as to aQ's bombs & plans? That job?

    That 'job' was pretty close to treason, and could at least be a felony.

    Holder asked a judge for a subpoena; the judge granted it. That is legal and is how it's supposed to work.

    May 25, 2013 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm |
  16. i12bphil

    cassius, I suggest you familiarize yourself with the first amendment.

    May 25, 2013 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  17. PattBa

    Couple things missing from this story:

    They had to 'shop' for judges to ok the warrant, because the first two they tried denied their request.

    Didn't Holder, in his testimony before Congress re the AP records grab, say that he has *never* pursued warrants against the press, or something to that effect?

    The alleged national security matter in the Rosen case was information the Obama admin was releasing the day after Rosen published it, thus no threat to national security.

    The fact the DOJ has declined to pursue any criminal charges against Rosen.

    That seeking a subpoena to pull the records w/o notifying the member of the press requires convincing a judge that the records may be compromised if the reporter has forewarning. So...how does one go about altering phone records from prior months? The basis for the secret subpoena was BS.

    I don't care what your politics are. This is bad.

    May 25, 2013 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  18. Newt Gingrich

    The right-wing nuts are getting so mad that nothing can get penned on Obama! LMAO

    In case you don't understand how it works, The President is purposely kept separated from the operations and workings of the other agencies. It is this way to prevent the President from meddling and influencing the other agencies. And it is this way to prevent the President from getting framed for mistakes or illegal activities of those working at these other agencies.

    Nothing new about this.

    May 25, 2013 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
  19. liberal disease

    Rosen did nothing wrong and certainly to bug his parents house is outrageous and immoral, Holder needs to apologize to the Rosen family and Obama needs to fire him next week..he is out of control , what is this Russia or Venezuela? or maybe South Korea? who's is next John Stewart's grandmother?

    May 25, 2013 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
  20. Tommy Mack

    So when the justice department follows the rules and asks a judge for a legal subpoena, there's an issue. When Bush just went for warrantless phone taps (which is illegal), where was the rage...?

    May 26, 2013 12:16 am at 12:16 am |
  21. Robin Jones

    Looks like J. Edgar Holder, except no one has caught Holder cross-dressing (yet).

    May 26, 2013 12:27 am at 12:27 am |
  22. Eric Holduh

    I don't see how a journalist can be responsible for disclosing government secrets unless they're actually some kind of spy? Didn't a government employee give the journalist this 'secret' information? Seems like that person should be the one under investigation?

    May 26, 2013 12:37 am at 12:37 am |
  23. paul kwiatkowski kasper

    holder is a mass murderer and has been covering up crimes against humanity for the past several administrations.

    May 26, 2013 12:41 am at 12:41 am |
  24. Disgrunteled American

    Isnt it funny that the media was sleeping with Obumma and Holder and they are the first ones to be betraid by them !And the dems are saying !Now the republicans need to show restraint in going after this ! When the Dems would have pounced on it like a lion on a lamb!!such Hipocracy!

    May 26, 2013 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  25. What Really?

    Eric Holder needs to be kicked to the curb. He has lied to us so many times that no one knows what is going on anymore! President Obama is trying to do his job but has some real idiots surrounding him who are stonewalling him @ every angle. And Eric Holder is the core of corruption! Time to step up + step down Holder.

    May 26, 2013 12:45 am at 12:45 am |
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