Will Holder investigate himself on Fox News snoop warrant?
By NY Post May 24, 2013 12:25 pm
Art by MRHerronToons
WASHINGTON - Attorney General Eric Holder himself authorized the government's snooping on Fox News reporter James Rosen, according to an explosive new report.
The feds got a court to approve a warrant to go after Rosen's personal e-mails, along with an array of phone records, it was revealed this week.
The warrant, which followed a report Rosen wrote online for Fox News about a US intelligence assessment of North Korea, called him a "possible co-conspirator" in violation of the Espionage Act.
The warrant authorizing the info grab, which also tracked Rosen's movements in and out of the State Department, was revealed Monday.
The feds sought the information in connection with an investigation of Stephen Jin-Woo Kim, who was working for the State Department in 2009 when the story was published.
On Wednesday, District Judge Royce C. Lamberth apologized for the way the case has been handled.
A federal judge had ordered records containing details of the snooping unsealed in 2011, but they were not posted on the court's online docket until The Washington Post asked for them.
NBC reported yesterday that Holder signed off on the warrant.
Holder was in the hot seat in Congress last week over the government's seizure of phone records from The Associated Press - but testified that he had recused himself from that leak investigation because he also had been interviewed and had access to the secret information.
President Obama referenced his administration's snooping on reporters in a speech on "the future of our fight against terrorism" - and explicitly said Holder "shares" his concern about protecting press freedom.
"Journalists should not be at legal risk for doing their jobs. Our focus must be on those who break the law," Obama said.
"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," Obama said.
Fox News chief Roger Ailes blasted the search in an e-mail to Fox employees yesterday, following disclosures that more than 30 phone lines were brought into the sweep - including several at Fox's DC bureau and two that appear to be at the White House.
"The administration's attempt to intimidate Fox News and its employees will not succeed and their excuses will stand neither the test of law, the test of decency nor the test of time," Ailes wrote. "We will not allow a climate of press intimidation, unseen since the McCarthy era, to frighten any of us away from the truth."
Lawmakers in Congress are already planning to press the administration on the probes.
"The only reason you would do that is to intimidate," Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) told The Post. He said it was to send the message to reporters that, "You cross the line, it's going to happen to you."