Attorney General Eric Holder signed off on a controversial search warrant that identified Fox News reporter James Rosen as a “possible co-conspirator” in violations of the Espionage Act and authorized seizure of his private emails, a law enforcement official told NBC News on Thursday...The law enforcement official said Holder's approval of the Rosen search, in the spring of 2010, came after senior Justice officials concluded there was "probable cause" that Rosen's communications with his source, identified as intelligence analyst Stephen Kim, met the legal burden for such searches. "It was approved at the highest levels-- and I mean the highest," said the law enforcement official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. He said that explicitly included Holder.
Journalists should not be at legal risk for doing their jobs. Our focus must be on those who break the law. That is why I have called on Congress to pass a media shield law to guard against government over-reach. I have raised these issues with the Attorney General, who shares my concern. So he has agreed to review existing Department of Justice guidelines governing investigations that involve reporters, and will convene a group of media organizations to hear their concerns as part of that review. And I have directed the Attorney General to report back to me by July 12th.
Very important question: did Holder or anyone else at DOJ inform the White House of the Rosen warrant?— Ryan Lizza (@RyanLizza) May 23, 2013
"You can’t look at this and see it as anything other than an attempt to basically scare anybody from ever leaking anything every again. So, they want to criminalize journalism, and that’s what it’s coming down to. If you end up essentially criminalizing journalism when it comes to reporting on the federal government, particularly on national security, and the only place they think they technically can do that is on the issue of national security, what it’s going to do is the impact that we’ve heard the council say this over the weekend: It is going to make whistleblowers and people that might leak and regular sources."
Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson. He is co-authors with Mary Katharine Ham for their new book End of Discussion: How the Left's Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun).
Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography
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