Attorney General Eric Holder, who last year was held in contempt of Congress by the House of Representatives, could again be subjected to disciplinary action, this time over conflicting statements he made under oath.
A top aide on the House Judiciary Committee told The Washington Examiner the panel is examining the veracity of Holder’s sworn statements, made during a May 15 hearing that examined the Justice Department seizure of phone records belonging to the Associated Press.
“The committee is looking into his testimony,” the aide said, declining to provide details.
During questioning at the hearing, Holder told Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Ga., he has not “ever been involved in” the “potential prosecution of the press,” for disclosing leaked material.
Holder even referenced Sen. Charles Schumer’s introduction this month of a federal shield law to protect the ability of the press “to gather information and disseminate it.”
But on Friday, the Justice Department admitted that Holder personally signed off on a decision to search phone and email records of Fox News reporter James Rosen. The warrant described Rosen as a co-conspirator who could eventually be criminally charged along with a State Department employee who was leaking information to him about North Korea.
According to court documents, the FBI said Rosen may have broken the law “either as an aider, abettor and/or co-conspirator.”
It’s not clear what the House panel would do if it determines Holder contradicted himself under oath.
In June 2012, Holder was found in criminal and civil contempt of Congress after refusing to turn over thousands of documents related to the botched gun-running operation known as “Fast and Furious.”
He received no further punishment associated with the contempt vote, however, because the Justice Department, run by Holder, declined to pursue criminal charges.