Holder in Damage Control Mode
Attorney General Eric Holder is in full damage control mode following news that the Department of Justice aggressively investigated journalists. According to Politico, Holder is meeting with several bureau chiefs.
Attorney General Eric Holder will hold meetings with several Washington bureau chiefs of national news organizations in the next two days as part of the review of existing Justice Department guidelines governing investigations that involve reporters. This review, which was announced by President Obama last Thursday, is consistent with the Attorney General’s long standing belief that protecting and defending the First Amendment is essential to our democracy. These meetings will begin a series of discussions that will continue to take place over the coming weeks.
In addition, Holder aides are doing their best letting everyone know he is super sorry. This Daniel Klaidman piece in the Daily Beast is just full of personal details that seem to paint Holder in a positive light.
But for Attorney General Eric Holder, the gravity of the situation didn’t fully sink in until Monday morning when he read the Post’s front-page story, sitting at his kitchen table. Quoting from the affidavit, the story detailed how agents had tracked Rosen’s movements in and out of the State Department, perused his private emails, and traced the timing of his calls to the State Department security adviser suspected of leaking to him. Then the story, quoting the stark, clinical language of the affidavit, described Rosen as “at the very least … an aider, abettor and/or co-conspirator” in the crime. Holder knew that Justice would be besieged by the twin leak probes; but, according to aides, he was also beginning to feel a creeping sense of personal remorse.
Given that President Obama basically put Holder in charge of finding out what Holder did wrong, Holder is going to need to do a lot to improve his credibility if anyone is going to take his conclusion seriously.
Photo by US Embassy of New Zealand released under Creative Commons License