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And hello again from Fox News in Washington.
Attorney general Eric Holder is on the hot seat.
Caught in conflicting accounts of his role in the Justice Department's investigation of reporters.
Joining us to talk about the growing scandal the Republican chairman of the House Judiciary Committee Bob good lap who's in Roanoke Virginia.
And democratic congressman Chris van Holland of Maryland gentlemen let's begin.
-- attorney general holder and what he told the House Judiciary Committee and -- fifty.
With regard to the potential prosecution of the press for the disclosure of material that is not something that.
I've ever been involved -- heard.
All we think would be a wise policy.
But we found out that a few days later.
We found out a few days later that attorney general holder back and won a -- signed off on the request for a search warrant.
That would have named.
James Rosen the potential fox reporter and let's put up on the screen what -- that.
There is probable cause to believe that the reporter has committed.
Or is committing a violation of the espionage fact.
As an hater and a better and Glor co conspirator the request also spoke of the -- own potential criminal liability in this matter.
John -- did Eric Holder lied to your committee.
Well we're gonna give him an opportunity to respond the chairman of the subcommittee Jim sensenbrenner I sent him a letter.
A few days ago giving him until next Wednesday to answer some very pointed questions about.
The conflict between his testimony under oath before the committee.
And the language that you just cited in the request for the warned.
That indeed is very troublesome it's even more troublesome when the department issues a statement saying that because.
Rosen was not.
-- the attorney general was telling the truth well quite frankly.
He referred in this -- point of potential prosecution and then he went on.
Let's say that he had never even heard of such a thing so this is very troubling but in addition.
It's more troubling that the department.
Might be putting false information into requests for warrants.
So that they can get a warrant to get not just the phone records of that the poll numbers dialed as the in the -- case but the actual emails.
That were written by mr.
Rosen they chief Washington correspondent of Fox News.
This is a very very serious allegation and the Justice Department I think made the problem worse.
By claiming that because they were not prosecuting him.
There was no false information given by the.
Let me ask you about directly on the one hand you have them in his testimony saying that he never heard of was never involved in any potentially you're right potential prosecution.
And on the other hand he signed off on this warrant -- all of these buzz words and it is it fair to say.
That you're investigating.
Attorney general holder for possible perjury.
Well we certainly are very concerned about that that.
What's the purpose of sending a letter so yes.
It is fair to say we are investigating.
The conflict in his remarks.
Those remarks -- made under oath but we also think it's very important that the attorney general be afforded the opportunity.
To respond so we will wait to pass judgment on that until after we receive his response.
Unless of course he's not forthcoming -- that.
You know in the AP case he passed the buck to the deputy attorney general.
And so after the hearing two weeks ago.
We wrote to deputy attorney general James Cole would -- series of pointed questions about that matter.
The deadline that he had for responding was Friday we still have not heard from him.
Thought the matter having gotten -- -- serious and I hope that.
-- let me just interrupt for a second I'm -- gonna bring in congressman van Holland in a moment you say you are investigating him for possible perjury.
What could -- say that would satisfy the would clear up this clear discrepancy.
Well I think in fairness the attorney general I'm not gonna second guess.
What he will tell us nor -- life second guess and I need more information about what exactly his involvement was.
With the issuance of the search warrant -- regard to.
The Rick Rosen matter which of course was -- the subject of the hearing that was focused on the AP matter was only when a federal judge recognized.
That this -- sealed warrant had been held an additional eighteen months or nearly three years.
Beyond when the war was issued that this became public since the hearing so this is new information to us.
And we want to hear from the attorney general.
In response to.
What you point out is a clear contradiction between his statement and the facts as we know them at this point.
Congressman van Holland.
Same question do you basically how do you reconcile holder's testimony.
To the committee that he had never heard of was never involved in not the prosecution but the potential prosecution.
Of a reporter.
With the fact that he signed off on the request for a search warrant that spoke specifically.
Of James Rosen -- potential criminal liability.
Well first Chris I'm glad the chairman's gonna give the attorney general opportunity terror respond here.
I here's how these are perfectly consistent as often the practice in cases where you have investigations.
Target somebody for the purpose of gathering information.
With never having any intention of prosecuting them and what -- attorney general said is that it's was never it was not their intention to prosecute.
Rose and in this case but that doesn't mean that they shouldn't try and seek relevant information to a case where we know.
That important top secret national security information was disclosed the potentially compromised.
Our sources and methods in North Korea let's remember what happened was got a contract the State Department Stephen Kim.
Who gave information to -- and yet gently -- for -- yeah allegedly.
The FBI apparently -- after -- and got his records but there was some missing information that they were seeking.
And that's why they went to a federal judge -- independent judge.
And an FBI investigator under oath the -- affidavit seeking information.
Is part of their case against Stephen -- -- the fact is that it in the FBI.
Investigator who have mr.
Wright -- who signed off on this affidavit.
Did it we are now told the Justice Department has admitted with the approval of the attorney general.
And it isn't that they went to one judge they went to three judges before they got one who would agree.
That -- would not be notified of this you don't think that that's in any way signing a false affidavit which I must tell you sir is also perjury.
It would be -- we tell me what's false in the affidavit there are no false allegations that are made in this affidavit that I know a lot and certainly I don't think chairman good -- Has any information about false allegations in this affidavit the attorney general's Chris got had.
-- -- a lot of outlet generally -- justify what's the false information in the affidavit.
Well the false information is that they found probable cause to find that he wasn't a leader -- better.
Or co conspirator.
The alleged leaker of the information therefore.
When the attorney general says that -- never heard of such a potential prosecution.
It raises the question either the attorney general is not being truthful war.
The Justice Department has a lot to answer for in using.
-- regard an individual to get a search warrant that they would not otherwise get unless they indeed -- show they have probable cause.
To find that to be the -- and I noticed that when -- -- -- and -- did not had a lot of time I'm gonna ask you about that -- directly.
Attorney general holder -- in his testimony to congress with regard to the potential prosecution of the press never heard of -- never involved in it.
The search warrant talks about.
James Rosen as potential criminal liability.
Potential and potential.
Yes but the attorney general and the Justice Department always have the discretion.
Not to bring a prosecution or criminal case and is the attorney general said it's their policy essentially.
Not to bring that kind of case that does not mean it's not true as a legal matter to it edge -- exactly what they alleged.
In this affidavit after all as we know there are lots of facts in this case the fact is.
Rosen and -- set up by -- alias names special email accounts.
But that doesn't mean that the Justice Department ever intended.
You criminally classic look Rosen I mean that that it.
It is not at all I mean people fill out affidavits as part of cases where they're trying to collect information I think -- in these kind -- -- really -- -- -- let me let me move onto another subject -- and you can get back into this.
In your answer congressman elect congressman van Holland you'll say that some Republicans argues that the holder case.
To distract from the real issues of the economy and jobs.
Do you not think that the possible infringement of first amendment rights of reporters.
Is a real issue of course is an issue the issue is how do you balance are legitimate national security needs.
With our first amendment rights you've got to admit this whole thing reeks of hypocrisy Chris.
It wasn't that long ago you have Republicans on Capitol Hill and a lot of folks on on fox going after the Obama administration saying.
You are not getting in the bottom of these national security -- it was nonstop for while.
-- the administration goes after these national security leaks and people say -- you can't do that.
The reality wet -- in fairness that's not what people said people said you can't talk about a reporter as a potential co conspirator.
How many let me ask -- question as a lawyer how many times has the has the Justice Department successfully prosecuted or even tried to prosecute.
A reporter under the 1917 espionage I don't think they haven't and -- and as always and obviously we'll talk and you -- -- -- -- point -- the attorney general saying -- weren't weren't playing to.
Prosecute this report -- -- either that's the whole issue here.
That they were never intending to prosecute -- they were trying to collect information in the case that involved the leak important to have security information that compromised sources and methods.
I think it's perfectly legitimate once they exhausted.
Of of Kim.
Who was the target that they collect additional information for the prosecution against -- -- not rose congressman deadline.
Chris if I might add the didn't information submitted to with a judge's.
rose in what's considered to be a flight risk.
Well how -- be a flight risk in the mind of the justice department of the officials pursuing this matter if they did not have a as potential prosecution and intent to prosecute him when they went and requested.
This search warrant they would not have received the search warrant if they had not said that he was a potential.
-- -- A target of this investigation and therefore.
You have a real crossing between First Amendment freedoms and overzealous this on part of the Justice Department.
It is important I agree with Chris van Holland it is important to investigate leaks and we have always said that and we'll say it right now but I would argue.
That in both the mishandling of this case and the AP case.
The Justice Department has damaged their ability to investigate -- properly because they -- and follow the rules and in this case.
The attorney general has.
To answer for it in parts.
-- -- -- what I don't -- and I act I've I've got a break -- Arab got only a couple of minutes left and wanna get to one more question that I think you'll both agree is very important this month.
The senate the senate is going to consider a comprehensive.
Immigration reform plan.
Including a path to citizenship congressman -- -- here at the center of this in the house as the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.
Will you will support a comprehensive immigration reform plan or doesn't have to be done -- -- piece by piece.
And would you when does the border have to be secured got a plan doesn't hear it but actually secured before -- even consider path to citizenship.
We are hard at work on this problem we have a broke.
An immigration system in the country it needs to be fixed our legal immigration -- enforcement and figuring out the appropriate legal status for people who are not lawfully present nine states all need to be addressed.
We think it's better to do when -- step by step approach we've introduced a series of bills in the house both the judiciary.
And the homeland security committee will continue down that path.
What the final outcome will be in terms of the form of the legislation is not yet known we are though dedicated to solving all three of those problems.
And and -- -- -- -- -- -- and you're running we're running way over does it would you consider path to citizenship before the border is actually secured.
I I do not think a special pathway to citizenship should be provided at all but a legal status should not be provided.
We have under way the actual.
Implementation of a number of reform not just border security but interior enforcement since 35 to 40% of the people who were unlawfully.
Present United States entered legally and therefore the border isn't relevant to that.
But the enforcement in the interior of the country is -- -- and I have been bringing rather spend -- on quality and Brett Brit -- manager sir if you will.
Well well first Chris I can't let the comment -- that the attorney general violated the guidelines they're talking about revising the guidelines not because he violated -- -- because maybe they need to be changed.
On immigration reform.
You've got a big bipartisan.
Piece of legislation that looks to be coming out of United States senate which balances all these issues.
Border security but also making sure that people can come out of the shadows and get on a pathway over a long period of time.
After paying fines learning English.
Toward citizenship so they can participate fully in the society and frankly become full tax -- Is part of that process I hope the house will move finally like the senate is the Judiciary Committee has not.
Marked up any legislation just like they've not had a single hearing when it comes to gun safety and gun violence -- -- -- -- but I mean anybody but look the senate is moving on important issues.
This First Amendment issue is a very important issue but we should be able walking and chewing gum at the same time.
Congressman van Holland congressman could -- and I know our Chris we're gonna have to leave it there thank you both for coming in today and we will be watching for the attorney general's response.
To your questions congressman -- lap on Wednesday.
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