Holder, Mueller face mounting questions on Petraeus probe
Former U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey reacts
- Duration 8:52
- Date Nov 14, 2012
Former U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey reacts
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Fox News alert as we await president Obama's first post election news conference there are golf growing questions.
About why he was kept in the dark according to the White House and not informed about the CIA directors scandal until last week.
Especially because we are told that attorney general Eric Holder and FBI director Robert Mueller.
Began looking into this affair last summer we're told mr.
holder was told in September late summer they said September.
About it and then they spent weeks on an investigation that went so far is to open the CIA directors email.
All without ever even mentioning it to the White House.
Joining me now Michael -- -- he's a former US attorney general under president George W.
Bush and there's an article in time magazine general talking about you.
And about how are you -- attorney general back in 2007 you wrote a memo.
That would have dissuaded or prohibited any contact between FBI justice.
And the White House when there's an ongoing criminal probe you say.
That's nonsense that's not what your memo said that's not what you believe should happen.
Correct and in fairness to time magazine they got it right and they describe the memo accurately.
With the memo was meant to do and -- the memo did was to stop contact in criminal investigation ordinary criminal investigations and to restrict it.
Only to the attorney general and the deputy attorney general in other words in all cases.
Is permitted to have contact from the White House to the attorney general -- the deputy and vice Versa then.
So there's no prohibition on an attorney general calling up the president -- -- states when there's an FBI investigation of this sort going on to say.
President you need to know something.
The -- go further down the memo what it says it is that in -- in cases involving national security considerations.
Want to be disclosing information.
To whoever needs to know -- and just make sure you keep.
The attorney general the deputy attorney general and the associate attorney general in the loop so that they can oversee any such communication.
What does the situation like this where this begins as.
You know some woman in Florida says she's getting harassing emails from somebody so the FBR starts looking into it they start they find the perpetrators it's another woman they look.
In her email low as she got something going -- with a CIA director -- we get here I mean is there any chance to say look that's a personal matter.
That's his business we don't see any reason to believe national security's been compromised that's not for us to go report to anybody.
Physicians who said the FBI.
Seriously doubt it.
Because the attorney general eventually no room.
Any chance he said there's an ongoing FBI investigation we don't know how far this is gonna go to Petraeus.
DD DD -- something to this woman is there's it was their Mort is criminal probe the -- CI let's keep it quiet and not tell the president to we have answers to that.
I suppose there's a chance of anything.
Is it reasonable from to have done -- now.
As soon as you find out that the director of the premiere.
Intelligence agency of the United States.
Is having an affair with somebody and that there -- emails on Gmail which is accessible all over the world.
That is a risk to the security of this country and you immediately.
Want to disclose that its.
Clean why I'm sure a lot -- still sitting at home wondering you know why why it why not just a personal issue -- opposed to a national security want.
Because its -- the CIA director to enormous amounts of pressure.
According to -- county -- he could keep his job.
Won't win even when it was disclosed in that this was under investigation.
So it could conceivably be used to pressure him to take positions to.
-- need his account of various things we needed to -- in Gaza and if you woman.
That's -- he was one of the of the first officials during that week after the 9/11 and Gaza attacks to say that this is about a video.
And now there's been a lot of doubt cast on that correct and.
I've heard at least one account that said that when he went up to the hill and so it was -- have been Gaza and who was about a video.
And he was somewhat equivocal as to whether that was.
What it was about or whether that was simply the official -- about -- what are they CIA and is the CIA director supposed to be an independent.
Not beholden to the administration politically absolutely.
The CIA director is the year to gather intelligence and to use it in the way that that protects the trash can the United States that's his charge this is only -- What could Eric Holder have been thinking.
I don't credit the notion that nobody in the White House knew and when you think he must have told I look.
Either he told war.
He was aware that there was somebody at the White House who didn't want an -- or that the general.
Procedure at the White House was that you don't tell things that we don't want the president and from her home.
Somebody had what I heard that during during during the during the bin Laden raid.
There was a suggestion that that Tom -- didn't want the president watching.
The video even though it didn't show the actual killing even though it simply was.
Focused on the on the on helicopter.
Anybody who protects his principle that way.
Acting in an atmosphere in which people don't want.
To do is there if if you except the story -- has been given thus far that attorney general holder was told in September that the CIA director had.
And compromise himself in this way.
And did not tell the White House about and that President Obama did not find out until two months later.
Is that something that we need an explanation for -- this president need to come out and explain that to us in other words is that.
Is there some.
Failure to communicate that could come back to haunt us.
-- if this is the protocol.
Yes there is for the reasons that I just described.
You want the president to know everything that he needs to know in order to know how to evaluate.
That he needs to protect the country better and if it turns out that his chief intelligence director.
Or has exercised poor judgment.
And -- this is suspect and someone that is something we asked her.
-- should be -- a little bit about the FBI investigating the emails because there's been some push back on them.
Saying how do you start -- you know looking into somebody's personal emails.
You know General Petraeus is personal Gmail.
In the course of this investigation.
You know is there -- -- they crossed the line in some way.
Data alone I think they were doing at that point under the supervision of the US attorney in Tampa.
There are statutes that bear on how they conduct investigations like that after all the the information is in the hands of the company that.
How has your email.
Question about what your expectations aren't in connection with -- Tony tell our viewers that now we've been given the two minute warning so President Obama will come out to the microphones any moment now.
Again he's expected to start the press conference by talking about the so called fiscal cliff the tax hikes -- spending cuts that are going to take effect at the end of this year absent some action.
In Washington and then according Ed Henry will they'll likely have about an hour a bit of robust exchange afterward.
For the reporters get to ask their questions of the president.
-- when you look at this Petraeus.
Affair the whole scandal and so on.
A lot of folks say look it's a man who has had had personal failing.
And save a lot of lives in.
Iraq and he's the architect of the surge in the one who implemented it -- and that was said to have saved American lives -- mentioned civilian lives in Iraq.
It has he met with the right end here professionally.
Here in her regrettably yes because I -- Mike Hayden made this point over the weekend I think.
I'm the director of the CIA exercises authority not simply the way -- military leader exercises authority because in that building there's a lot of things going on.
That he needs to now and hopefully won't be told him.
He exercises authority by virtue in part of moral suasion not just command.
And if he loses -- than he loses the ability to lead.
Is it make clear to you when you -- into such a high post and government having been the attorney general of the United States yourself does it make clear to you when you take on a -- like that.
That you will have to be above board you have a higher standard of conduct expected of you look.
When I when I became attorney general and me -- might my Blackberry was taken away because it was felt that I shouldn't have it.
Because I could be put on notice of things -- -- could be saying from the army he now surfacing need to be protected.