Policy: Law

Eric Holder: Not involved in AP phone records subpoena because I was interviewed as leak suspect

Politics,Beltway Confidential,Joel Gehrke,Eric Holder,Media,Law

Attorney General Eric Holder told Congress that he doesn’t know why the Justice Department seized Associated Press phone records in the manner that it did because he wasn’t involved in the preparation of the subpoena because he was interviewed as a possible source of the national security leak.

“I am not familiar with why the subpoena was prepared the way it was,” Holder said during a House Judiciary Committee hearing Wednesday. Asked why DOJ didn’t request the records from AP given the news organization’s previous cooperation with the government, Holder replied, “I simply don’t have a factual basis to answer that question.”

I have to assume he did.

Holder said that he had “to assume” that Deputy Attorney General James Cole approved the subpoena. “Recusals are such that I dont have any interaction with the people who are involved in the case,” Holder said. “In my absence, the deputy attorney general would have to act as the attorney general.”

The attorney general recused himself because he was interviewed as a “fact witness” — “a possessor of the information that was ultimately leaked” — meaning that he could theoretically have leaked the information about the thwarted terrorist attack that was the subject of the AP report.


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