Things are looking worse and worse for the Justice Department, Attorney General Eric Holder, and even the Obama administration. The reason? A warrant that allowed the DOJ to search Fox News reporter James Rosen’s personal email.
A warrant that was signed off on by Mr. Holder himself.
NBC News‘ Michael Isikoff reported Thursday that Holder actually OK’d the controversial search himself. The report puts a face to the greatest violation of press freedom by a government body in recent memory. That face belongs to Eric Holder.
The warrant named Rosen as a “con-conspirator” in a leak investigation, with the implication that the DOJ was on the verge of criminalizing journalism. The same warrant approved the tracking of Rosen’s movements as well as his communications with his State Department source.
The DOJ said that they never intended to press charges on Rosen, but the warrant is chilling nonetheless. While the AG is required to approve requests to search journalists’ materials, emails are not up for search.
Holder has played coy about his involvement in the Rosen scandal (as well as the Associated Press scandal, the investigation of which he infamously recused himself from), saying that he’s not sure how many times he has authorized the search of journalists’ records.
Fox News chief Roger Ailes personally responded to the revelation in a staff memo.
“We reject the government’s efforts to criminalize the pursuit of investigative journalism and falsely characterize a Fox News reporter to a Federal judge as a “co-conspirator” in a crime,” Ailes wrote.
“I know how concerned you are because so many of you have asked me: why should the government make me afraid to use a work phone or email account to gather news or even call a friend or family member? Well, they shouldn’t have done it.”
Most journalists and media outlets are actually flocking to the defense of Fox News, as well. Left, right or somewhere in between, many have voiced their support for James Rosen and have condemned the Obama administration … if not for instigating the scandals, for standing by and allowing them to happen.
Dear many of our commenters: this is one time when you should be siding with Fox News huff.to/10IM6mT
— HuffPost Media (@HuffPostMedia) May 20, 2013
My experience dealing with @jamesrosenfnc was unpleasant and contentious. And I fully support him against this unwarranted act by DOJ
— Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) May 20, 2013
— Andrea Mitchell (@mitchellreports) May 20, 2013
What do you think of Eric Holder’s role in the Fox News / James Rosen scandal? Is it time for him to resign?