Published On: Wed, May 15th, 2013

Eric Holder passes blame in AP phone record scandal, says the monitoring was for national security

Attorney General Eric Holder attempted to dodge accusations on Tuesday as the Department of Justice has been the subject the new AP press scandal. Holder said he had “recused” himself last year from a federal probe that led to the AP records pull.

Eric Holder cartoon caricature Attorney General donkeyhotey

Photo donkeyhotey donkeyhotey.worpdress.com

The DOJ had been pulling phone records of Associated Press editors and reporters, claiming they were attempting to track down a leak. 

Holder’s staff instead blamed Deputy Attorney General James Cole, according to Politico. Politico – the most frequent leak outlet for the Obama administration — quoted an unnamed official blaming Cole.

“As the attorney general testified in June 2012, he was interviewed by the FBI in connection with the investigation into the unauthorized disclosure of classified information,” the official said. “To avoid any potential appearance of a conflict of interest, the Attorney General recused himself from this matter.”

Cole wrote a letter to the AP on Tuesday arguing that the subpoenas — which covered over 20 different phone lines — “were limited in both time and scope.” Cole’s letter said that DOJ conducted 550 interviews and reviewed tens of thousands of documents before it subpoenaed the AP.

“I am confident that the people who are involved in this investigation, who I know for a great many years and who I’ve worked with for a great many years, followed all of the appropriate Justice Department regulations and did things according to DOJ rules,” Holder said.

He added that it “certainly not the policy of this administration” to target reporters. What has been done in the leaks investigation was, he said, “not as a result of a policy to get the press.”

Referring to the leaks of national security information, Holder said, “This was a very, very serious leak. I’ve been a prosecutor since 1976 – and I have to say that this is among, if not the most serious, in the top two or three most serious leaks that I’ve ever seen. It put the American people at risk – and that is not hyperbole.”


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- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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