House Panel Asks Holder To Explain Testimony On News Media Investigations

Source: Michael Isikoff / NBC News

The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee charged Wednesday that Attorney General Eric Holder’s involvement in a secret search warrant for a Fox News reporter’s private emails “contradicts” his testimony to the panel about investigating members of the news media.

The charge , in a letter to Holder, is the opening salvo in what committee aides say is an inquiry into whether Holder lied to the panel about his role in approving a search warrant alleging that Fox News reporter James Rosen was a possible “co-conspirator” in violations of the Espionage Act.

The letter from Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., and Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wisc., the chair of the panel’s subcommittee on crime, terrorism, homeland security and investigations,  asks Holder a series of questions about his May 15 testimony to the panel, focusing on his response to one question: “With regard to potential  prosecution of the press for the disclosure of material, that is not something that I have ever been involved in, heard of , or would think would be a wise policy.”

The letter cited an NBC News report last week that Holder approved the sealed search warrant naming Rosen as a suspected violator of the Espionage Act as part of an investigation into an alleged leak of classified information about North Korea from a U.S. intelligence analyst, Stephen Kim.

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