In a move that is way beyond asking the fox to guard the hen house, President Obama has ordered Attorney General Eric Holder to head up an investigation of claims that his Justice Department spied on a Fox News reporter.
The move would have failed the smell test even if Holder had had no involvement in the DOJ’s charge that Fox News Channel’s chief Washington correspondent James Rosen was a “possible co-conspirator” in a leak case.
But despite Holder’s earlier insistence that he had no awareness of his department’s seizure of Rosen’s email accounts and phone records, NBC News reported on Thursday that the AG personally authorized the search warrant.
The strong likelihood that Holder lied under oath would seem to be grounds for his dismissal, not to mention prosecution for a felony punishable by up to five years in prison. In an update to a column asking rhetorically whether Holder lied, Ed Morrissey notes a growing bipartisan consensus demanding Holder’s resignation:
The Huffington Post wants him gone, as does Esquire. A resignation at this point is probably not enough, either, if the House decides that further action is required after this false representation on a key issue.
Yet in the midst of what has grown into the most corrosive scandal facing his administration, Obama on Friday curiously asked Holder to review the Justice Department’s procedures for investigating the media. In a speech in D.C., the president said:
We must keep information secret that protects our operations and our people in the field.
But a free press is also essential for our democracy [and] I am troubled by the possibility that leak investigations may chill the investigative journalism that holds government accountable.
Journalists should not be at legal risk for doing their jobs … [and] 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 if you believe any of that, Obama has a bridge he will be glad to sell you.
He said in the same speech that he has directed Holder to report back to him by July 12th. Let the pools begin on whether Holder is still the nation’s top law enforcement officer when that dates rolls around.
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- Holder OK’d search warrant for Fox News reporter’s emails
- CBS News reporter Sharyl Attkisson says her computers have been compromised
- Obama administration targeting of reporter finally hits a nerve: MSM reacts
- Obama administration spied on Fox News reporter James Rosen
- White House told of IRS targeting probe in April
- Obama aide: Benghazi was ‘tragedy,’ ‘irrelevant’ where president was during raid
- Dem Senators’ Hail Mary pass in re Benghazi scandal
- CBS anchor admits ‘media getting big stories wrong over and over’