The affidavit signed by Attorney General Eric Holder specifically seeks to establish whether Fox News reporter James Rosen committed a crime, a clear suggestion that the Justice Department was considering prosecuting him.
Holder is under investigation by the House Judiciary Committee for perjury for telling the panel that he had never even “heard of” the “potential prosecution” of reporters for divulging classified material.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney Wednesday sought to defend Holder by insisting prosecution of Rosen was never an issue, even though the affidavit states there is “probable cause” to believe Rosen was a “co-conspirator” in the crime of divulging classified materials. Rather, Carney implies, the only person considered for prosecution was Rosen’s source, State Department official Stephen Jin-Woo Kim.
But a closer reading of the affidavit, which was used to gain access to Rosen’s emails and phone records, suggests Rosen’s prosecution was a live possibility. The document, in a passage justifying access to Rosen’s emails, states:
Mr. Kim’s missing responses to the reporter’s e-mails would materially assist the FBI’s investigation as they could be expected establish further the fact of the disclosures, their content, and Mr. Kim’s and the reporter’s intent in making them, and could be expected to constitute direct evidence of their guilt or innocence.
The bolding at the end is mine.
The Justice Department would only seek evidence of Rosen’s guilt if the possibility existed that he would be prosecuted. Otherwise, it would have framed the affidavit solely as an attempt to establish the guilt of Rosen’s source.
It would seem very hard for Holder to claim that he testified truthfully when he said that potential prosecution of a reporter for divulging information was something he had never “been involved in, heard of, or would think would be wise policy.” He signed an affidavit that specifically stated the intent was to seek evidence of a reporter’s guilt or innocence.