According to the New York Times, Eric Holder, the Attorney General of the United States, testified to the following under oath: “With regard to the potential prosecution of the press for the disclosure of material, that is not something that I’ve ever been involved in, heard of or would think would be a wise policy.” That is a very broad statement.
After this testimony, the Chairman of the committee that took the testimony sent this letter asking for clarification in light of the facts that Eric Holder had approved an affidavit in the James Rosen case prior to testifying in front of Congress. That affidavit labeled James Rosen, a Fox News reporter, as a co-conspirator, alleged probable cause to believe he committed a criminal act, and swore that telling the James Rosen or his employer about the attempt to obtain a warrant would jeopardize the investigation because Rosen may destroy evidence, harm or kill someone, or flee the jurisdiction. See this post for some background on the current status of the Department Of Justice issue.
The letter from the committee requested certain questions be answered. Most importantly, how can Eric Holder assert that the above facts do not classify as a potential prosecution of the press.
The Department of Justice send this letter in response to the committee’s letter. This letter avoids actually answering the questions raised by the committee. The letter claims that because no charges were actually sought Eric Holder’s statement accurately reflected the truth.
The statements by the Department of Justice fold under any level of scrutiny. The Department of Justice investigates behavior to determine whether or not to bring criminal charges. The Department of Justice does not just investigate all behavior at random to see whether or not a crime was committed. They only investigate someone if they have some reason to think that there is a possibility that criminal activity is taking place.
The Department of Justice investigated a reporter and swore that they had evidence that leads them to believe that there is probable cause to believe James Rosen committed a criminal act. They were definitively involved in the potential prosecution of a reporter. We must remember that the evidence necessary to put handcuffs on the reporter and arrest him is the same standard, probable cause. If the Department of Justice never even contemplated bringing charges against James Rosen then they should not have been investigating him. If the decision not to prosecute was made after the search warrant was obtained, then it was still a potential prosecution.
Lastly, if someone alleged that I committed perjury I would personally respond to the accusation. Eric Holder had Peter Kadzik, a subordinate employee, draft his response. This may mean nothing, but it seems fishy to me. When your personal integrity is challenged I think, especially considering the surrounding events, one ought to personally reply to put the issue to bed.