Just a few days after President Obama made a speech that proposed a media shield that would protect investigative journalists from espionage laws, Attorney General Eric Holder will be investigated for perjury over comments made while under oath regarding the legality of certain journalist practices.
Yes, the House Judiciary is investigating whether Eric Holder lied under oath – ow.ly/lteH3
— National Review (@NRO) May 28, 2013
1.The Comments Were Made During May 15th Testimony
On May 15, 2013, Attorney General Eric Holder gave testimony over the Justice Department’s alleged surveillance of reporters.
2. Holder Answered “No” to Question About Espionage Act of 1917
In a conversation with Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) during the testimony, Johnson inquired whether the DOJ could use the Espionage Act of 1917 to prosecute journalists disseminating information. The Hill quotes Holder’s response as being:
In regard to potential prosecution of the press for the disclosure of material – this is not something I’ve ever been involved in, heard of, or would think would be wise policy
3.Holder Personally Approved Search Warrant For FOX Reporter
The allegations of perjury come after information surfaced last week that Holder did, in fact, participate in government intervention of the press. Last week, NBC News confirmed that the highest levels of the DOJ, including Eric Holder, approved the surveillance of FOX reporter James Rosen’s emails.
4. DOJ Surveyed FOX’s Rosen as Investigation of Leak
The investigation began with the suspicion that former intelligence analyst Stephen Kim leaked Rosen confidential information about North Korea.
5. President Obama Just Proposed a Law to Protect Journalists
In last week’s speech on the current state the United States’ counter-terrorism activities, President Obama responded to public outrage that claimed his administration was inhibiting the freedom of the press. He proposed a new media shield law that would provide legal protection to investigative journalists. However, in the speech he specifically called on Attorney General Eric Holder to put the guidelines for the law together:
Journalists should not be at legal risk for doing their jobs. Our focus must be on those who break the law. That is why I have called on Congress to pass a media shield law to guard against government over-reach. I have raised these issues with the Attorney General, who shares my concern. So he has agreed to review existing Department of Justice guidelines governing investigations that involve reporters, and will convene a group of media organizations to hear their concerns as part of that review. And I have directed the Attorney General to report back to me by July 12th.
The Daily Beast reported earlier today that Eric Holder was beginning to feel “remorse” for the FOX probe. You can read the quote here: