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. Colo

    Holder obviously lied. Even though the warrant issued may have been 100% the right thing to do Holder has openly and obviously lied and is inept and unable to perform his job correctly, legally and to the high standards required for his job

    May 26, 2013 07:19 am at 7:19 am |
  2. Joe Geshel

    So now we have a proven liar for an Attorney General. Our President has, "the utmost confidence in Attorney General Holder". How nice. President Obama has assembled a host of incompetent cabinet level people who were and are all professional liars. Top officials from Treasury, State, Defense, Homeland Security, and Environmental Protection have all lied under oath. They lied to cover up their abject ignorance and the mistakes of the President. Trust in this administration has vanished.

    May 26, 2013 07:34 am at 7:34 am |
  3. Dick

    While it is perfectly legal and very proper for the Justice Department to request a search warrant from a federal court, it is very troubling to justify it by claiming an investigative journalist is an "aider and abettor and/or co-conspirator". I'm pleased to see that President Obama has directed a review of this policy, as I believe it takes us down a slippery slope that jeopardizes our freedom protected by the First Amendment.

    May 26, 2013 07:40 am at 7:40 am |
  4. Mike

    The Obama administration is turning out to be quite the group of con artists. Anything bad happens and nobody knows anything, anything good and Obama himself micro managed the whole operation

    May 26, 2013 07:46 am at 7:46 am |
  5. declan

    Are we getting tired of this guy yet?

    May 26, 2013 07:56 am at 7:56 am |
  6. fred astaire

    It is apparent the he lied under oath. Ditto apparent nothing will happen. The media will begin anew to kiss up to this administration. Perhaps the media would serve themselves well to read up on history of suppressed media and the innocent appearing beginnings of same.

    May 26, 2013 08:09 am at 8:09 am |
  7. Rexdogcanadian

    An employee who devolves sensitive information about how the government deals with friends/foes is a traitor and should be held in contempt. Reporters like the rest of us should be held accountable for how they glean such information. Freedom to know how the government protects the country is not an absolute right.

    May 26, 2013 08:10 am at 8:10 am |
  8. who

    What judge would grant this? This is the scariest thing, or all- a judge being bullied by political pressures, to do things they otherwise would not do. Nobody in the press, can get information- unless someone in the administration is giving it, that's where the leak needs to be addressed, I think. Seems they are after they're political opponents, and using the apparatus of government to achieve it,

    May 26, 2013 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
  9. LiberaLIowan


    Eric Holder and the WH hate Julian Assange. Too bad you can't even get that small fact straight.

    May 26, 2013 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  10. Patjones

    The White House is becoming more and more like Chicago everyday.....this is how we run things now gangster style...lie cheat intimidate do everything you can to win and intimidate your opposition.

    May 26, 2013 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  11. Tim

    This is no surprise. The corruption in the Obama administration goes all the way to the top.

    May 26, 2013 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  12. rkooyers

    So the President has ordered Attorney General Eric Holder to investigate Eric Holder and Eric Holder has agreed to do it.

    Meanwhile Eric Holder has promised to cooperate with Eric Holder’s investigation of Eric Holder. What questions Eric Holder will ask Eric Holder remains to be seen but Eric Holder has assured Eric Holder that Eric Holder will pull no punches or leave any stone unturned in the investigation of Eric Holder. Asked when Eric Holder would commence the investigation Eric Holder said he had a call in for Eric Holder but had yet to hear back from Eric Holder to schedule a meeting.

    However, Eric Holder claimed he had not yet received a message from Eric Holder. Eric Holder then said he would again put in another call for Eric Holder. Inquiring whether Eric Holder was expected to answer all of Eric Holder’s questions Eric Holder stated he hoped so but did point out that Eric Holder could assert his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

    Eric Holder did say he would attempt to negotiate should Eric Holder take that route and, if necessary, Eric Holder may have to offer Eric Holder immunity from prosecution to get to the truth of what Eric Holder did. When asked what would happen to Eric Holder if Eric Holder was found to have flagrantly violated DOJ policies Eric Holder said he would ask for Eric Holder’s resignation and if Eric Holder refused to resign Eric Holder would have no choice but to place Eric Holder on paid administrative leave. Eric Holder reportedly said, “Works for me if it works for Eric Holder.”

    When Eric Holder was asked what action would be taken if he found criminal activity by Eric Holder, Eric Holder said he would he would refer it to Eric Holder for prosecution but Eric holder may be offered a plea deal to avoid dragging Eric Holder's name through the mud.

    And that’s how Washington works. Me? I’m beside myself, but it's okay, I'm a twin –John Richards

    May 26, 2013 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  13. clark

    So where exactly did this "classified" information come from? Maybe the goberment should look at it's own employees first....

    May 26, 2013 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  14. texasnotea

    It's time the press joins the rest of America and realizes they can't operate post 9/11 anymore. If they have information that is a threat to national security, they should have the responsibility to disclose that information and not be able to hide behind a so called anonymous source. The judge was correct to issue the search warrant and I hope from now on the press will reveal the source if national security is involved without the need for a subpoena.

    May 26, 2013 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  15. censored

    It got to the right place,Washington DC's other office and mouthpiece .

    May 26, 2013 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  16. Richard

    This crap looks scary from where I am sitting, look where my Country is going....Naxis did stuff like this in the beginning

    May 26, 2013 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  17. jones

    It doesn't matter that POTUS now wants to be more careful, the damage is done. He's put the fear in each and every whistle blower/ investigative journalist. Many will be too afraid to do their job or the right thing. What he "leaked" was less than anywhere near what Novak/Armitage did to Plame. If any reporter should have been investigated, it should have been Novak. Obama/Holder look really bad in this case.

    May 26, 2013 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  18. TSB8C

    Freedom of the press is dead in the US, unless you are a liberal outlet and as president of a news organization, you also have your spouse or sibling working the White House.

    May 26, 2013 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  19. FubarObama

    Holder is a Disgrace !!

    May 26, 2013 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  20. boston1c

    There's a clear distinction between whistle blowing which is something anyone should do when the government is doing something wrong – i.e. TRICKY DICKIE versus giving out CLASSIFIED INFORMATION – Government employees are sworn to not give information out – if they do – they should be prosecuted to the fullest extend of the law PERIOD.

    May 26, 2013 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  21. FLatsguide

    Eric Holder should change his name to Henrich Himmler.He is da' man in Obozo's Gestapo.

    May 26, 2013 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  22. Organic1

    This falls under the 'Patriot Act' in case you were wondering, and that has been around for over 10 years. So blaming the current administration is just hate for no other reason. Try to catch up.

    May 26, 2013 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  23. Dave

    He got a warrant from a judge to investigate a potential crime. What's the big deal? No charges were made. Are those who are all bent out of shape saying the government shouldn't investigate people? Then, when a crime happens, say, the
    Boston bombing, you are all bent out of shape because these guys weren't investigated enough.

    May 26, 2013 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  24. oneWayfarer

    The GHOST of J. Edgar Hoover

    May 26, 2013 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  25. cyclonus11

    This is in no way illegal. A warrant was obtained through the appropriate legal channels. If you're going to throw a fit about this, then you should've thrown a fit about them doing the same to Wikileaks. Don't be hypocrites.

    May 26, 2013 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
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