DoJ denies perjury charge against Holder … Holder not responding

posted at 9:21 am on June 4, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Reps. Bob Goodlatte and James Sensenbrenner of the House Judiciary Committee finally got a response to their letter, but not from the addressee, and that has them steamed.  In what the Times-Dispatch called “an attempt to mollify Republican lawmakers,” Eric Holder handed off the demand for an explanation of seemingly false testimony to the committee on May 15th to a subordinate.  The “mollifying” may have thrown even more gasoline on the fire:

A senior Justice Department official told two Republican congressmen Monday that Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. has never been involved in the prosecution of a journalist for the publication of classified information.

In an effort to mollify Republican lawmakers who have accused Holder of perjury, Peter J. Kadzik, the principal deputy assistant attorney general, sent a letter to the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Virginia’s Robert W. Goodlatte, R-6th, and Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner Jr., R-Wis. The letter emphasized that an investigation is different than a prosecution and that any attempt to obtain a search warrant comes before any final decision about prosecution.

“We are unaware of an instance when the department has prosecuted a journalist for the mere publication of classified information,” Kadzik wrote.

First, that isn’t what Holder testified.  Holder specifically said he’d never even heard of any potential prosecution of a reporter under the Espionage Act of 1917, emphases mine:

In regard to potential prosecution of the press for the disclosure of material.This is not something I’ve ever been involved in, heard of, or would think would be wise policy.

Signing a warrant listing James Rosen as a potential co-conspirator in espionage in order to get unlimited access to his communications makes it clear that Holder had “heard of” and been involved in the potential prosecution of a journalist since 2010.  That, after all, is exactly what Holder and US Attorney Ronald Machen represented to not one but three federal judges: that they needed Rosen’s communications because he was a potential target for prosecution.  Otherwise, they both would be guilty of false testimony in federal court, too.

Needless to say, when Goodlatte and Sensenbrenner sent the letter to Holder, they expected to get a reply from the Attorney General who offered that testimony and not one of his underlings. They expressed their dissatisfaction immediately after receiving the reply:

Chairman Goodlatte:  “Today’s response from the Justice Department’s Office of Legislative Affairs raises more questions than it answers.  By having a subordinate send this response rather than Attorney General Holder himself, this response begs the question of whether Holder has something to hide.  Discrepancies in Attorney General Holder’s congressional testimony made on the record need to be corrected on the record to Congress by Attorney General Holder himself.

“Attorney General Holder still has yet to respond to our letter.  He can’t outsource the responsibility for his actions to lower level staff—the buck stops with him.  The American people and Congress deserve answers and accountability from Attorney General Holder.  The House Judiciary Committee anxiously awaits his response to our May 29 letter by this Wednesday’s deadline.”

Subcommittee Chairman Sensenbrenner:  “This response is insulting and further proof that Attorney General Holder refuses to hold himself accountable. Not only did the letter come from a low-level staffer at DOJ, not Holder himself, it fails to answer the questions raised by his misleading testimony. Congress and the American people deserve an explanation from the Attorney General. It is increasingly obvious that Eric Holder has something to hide. I still expect a response from the Attorney General before the deadline of Wednesday, June 5.”

If not, the subpoenas will start flying shortly thereafter:

Republican lawmakers are considering whether to haul Attorney General Eric Holder back before a House committee over questionable testimony he provided on the Justice Department’s surveillance of reporters, threatening to subpoena the nation’s top law enforcement officer if necessary. …

Sensenbrenner and Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., want Holder to clarify his testimony, claiming it appears to conflict with his department’s actions.

Sensenbrenner said his committee is prepared to compel Holder to explain if he doesn’t make the Wednesday deadline.

“I think we ought to subpoena the attorney general to come back and answer those questions specifically,” he told Fox News, when asked what happens if Holder misses the deadline.

Hours after the letter was released, Greta van Susteren talked with former US Attorney Rudy Giuliani about the case.  Giuliani said he thinks he could Holder acquitted for perjury, although van Susteren argues that Holder’s statement was too broad not to cover what happened with Rosen.  Nevertheless, Giuliani says that Holder should “prove his innocence somewhere else” than the Department of Justice, and that any other lawyer would be facing disbarment under the same circumstances:

“Where else are they going after political enemies?” Giuliani asked.  That’s not the question a White House needs to have floating around at any time, but especially not with the IRS scandal continuing to expand.

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Eric Holder staying quiet on Eric Holder.
news at 11

ted c on June 4, 2013 at 9:26 AM

If he didn’t commit perjury he lied to a federal judge to get the warrant. Pick one. This is why he needs to go.

Happy Nomad on June 4, 2013 at 9:28 AM

Wait! Didn’t he investigate himself and declare himself innocent?

That should be good enough for everyone – I mean, why would he Lie about something like perjury?

Galt2009 on June 4, 2013 at 9:29 AM

Eric Holder investigated Eric Holder. It didn’t get far after Eric Holder pleaded the Fifth Amendment when asked tough questions by Eric Holder. In the end it was determined by Eric Holder that nothing done was illegal or inproper but Eric Holder is fixing the problem.

Case closed here, nothing to see, move on…..

This is why Congress is not amused.

Happy Nomad on June 4, 2013 at 9:33 AM

Holder should certainly be disbarred.

This administrations absolute inability to tell the truth at any time, ever, is absolutely shocking.

How anyone can believe a word anyone from this administration ever says is beyond me.

If lefties had any principles whatsoever, they would be outraged by these people.

the sad thing is, in their minds, they are the good guys. Lying doesn’t bother them because it’s all “for the greater good”.

Monkeytoe on June 4, 2013 at 9:33 AM

That, after all, is exactly what Holder and US Attorney Ronald Machen represented to not one but three federal judges: that they needed Rosen’s communications because he was a potential target for prosecution.

They also ABSURDLY represented that James Rosen was a potential ‘flight risk,’ which would be irrelevant if they weren’t considering prosecuting him.

Besides, they outright accused Rosen of violating the Espionage Act.

Resist We Much on June 4, 2013 at 9:34 AM

If he didn’t commit perjury he lied to a federal judge to get the warrant. Pick one. This is why he needs to go.

Happy Nomad on June 4, 2013 at 9:28 AM

Actually, he did both. He lied to the judge AND he lied to congress.

dogsoldier on June 4, 2013 at 9:34 AM

This is why Congress is not amused.

Happy Nomad on June 4, 2013 at 9:33 AM

Yeah, so what. They have no balls, no spine.

dogsoldier on June 4, 2013 at 9:35 AM

Resist We Much on June 4, 2013 at 9:34 AM

It’s going to take a subpeona to get him to respond. That’s okay. Put him under oath and dare him to take the Fifth. It would be the final nail in the coffin.

Happy Nomad on June 4, 2013 at 9:36 AM

When asked to describe his actions in the latest Game of Scandals, Eric Hodor replied emphatically ‘ Hodor!

CitizenEgg on June 4, 2013 at 9:37 AM

Actually, he did both. He lied to the judge AND he lied to congress.

dogsoldier on June 4, 2013 at 9:34 AM

Of course he did. But Mika is bored talking about it so we should just move on.

Happy Nomad on June 4, 2013 at 9:37 AM

Executive privilege in 5…4..3.

cmsinaz on June 4, 2013 at 9:37 AM

Holder….meh

Gop just over reaching
-lsm

cmsinaz on June 4, 2013 at 9:39 AM

Evidently Atty. Gen. Holder recused his illustrious self from responding to the committee…

workingclass artist on June 4, 2013 at 9:40 AM

And to think, it was his answer to a question from Hank Johnson that put Holder in this pickle.

Who’d of thunk it ?

Jabberwock on June 4, 2013 at 9:41 AM

He can’t outsource the responsibility for his actions to lower level staff—the buck stops with him.

No, in this administration, “the buck stops over there!”

ROGUE EMPLOYEES!

GarandFan on June 4, 2013 at 9:44 AM

Ya know, this is a gazillion times beyond unreal anymore. My anger and frustration at the republicans can no longer be measured. I really wish I was black so that I could run all over sheepish white people. What an incredible embarrassment they are. It is mind boggling how f-cking weak they all are.

GhoulAid on June 4, 2013 at 9:44 AM

Does anybody expect Holder to ever answer directly? What could he possibly say that isn’t damning?

Fenris on June 4, 2013 at 9:44 AM

And to think, it was his answer to a question from Hank Johnson that put Holder in this pickle.

Who’d of thunk it ?

Jabberwock on June 4, 2013 at 9:41 AM

Certainly not me. Johnson generally doesn’t do anything but make long rambling statements without a point. Holder must have been shocked to have been asked an actual question.

Happy Nomad on June 4, 2013 at 9:44 AM

We are a nation of laws, not of Eric Holders.

ted c on June 4, 2013 at 9:45 AM

No, in this administration, “the buck stops over there!”

ROGUE EMPLOYEES!

GarandFan on June 4, 2013 at 9:44 AM

If the buck goes any faster, it’ll achieve orbit.

Liam on June 4, 2013 at 9:47 AM

Lying.

The new normal. Unless the spineless in Congress do something drastic, it will continue the norm. I have a difficult time wrapping my head around this many amoral people.

ORconservative on June 4, 2013 at 9:47 AM

This posted earlier on the “Secret email” thread.

Open question to any and all Liberal posters on this website:

Are there ANY laws, regulations, statutes, that the
Executive Branch of our Federal Government is Supposed to
adhere to, that have NOT been broken, violated, ignored, or
summarily dismissed by this Administration????????????????????????

Please offer your responses below, and if needed, turn the page
over for additional explanation.

Thanks,

ToddPA on June 4, 2013 at 9:47 AM

It is mind boggling how f-cking weak they all are.

GhoulAid on June 4, 2013 at 9:44 AM

been saying this for years….Absolutely SPOT ON.

ToddPA on June 4, 2013 at 9:53 AM

They’re willing to lie about this, they will lie about anything.

Bishop on June 4, 2013 at 9:54 AM

Eric Holder seems unaware of what Eric Holder was doing at the DOJ. Bad management I guess.

MTF on June 4, 2013 at 9:56 AM

If he didn’t commit perjury he lied to a federal judge to get the warrant. Pick one. This is why he needs to go.

This nails it as far as I’m concerned. Holder shopped around for a judge to grant a warrant with the justification that a prosecutable crime was being investigated. No charges are ever filed, but information is gleaned. Rosen apparently was not the target of the investigation, just the excuse for the warrant. Then in front of Congress Holder says that he never intended to prosecute.

He either lied to the judge, Congress, or both.

EA_MAN on June 4, 2013 at 9:56 AM

You wingunts are barking up the wrong tree. Judge Holder has already looked into it and acquitted Attorney General Holder of any perjury charges.

crrr6 on June 4, 2013 at 9:56 AM

I suppose there are a laundry list of problems for Holder in all of this, but I see two big problems. First, there’s this word quibbling that Holder and DOJ are engaged in with the House over whether he lied in his earlier testimony. Second, and the one I don’t see anyone screaming about, the excuse Holder and the DOJ seem to be giving to excuse the first problem is that they never really considered Rosen a co-conspirator or a flight risk. They just swore to that in an affidavit to get a search warrant to invade Rosen’s privacy.

Maybe nobody’s screaming about the second because DOJ would be handling the prosecution of Holder for lying to the judge. But why doesn’t the GOP create even more problems for Holder by demanding a special prosecutor to investigate Holder for lying to a court. At a minimum, someone should be submitting a complaint to the DC bar citing Holder for an egregious ethical violation. Why isn’t there a big stink about this?

BuckeyeSam on June 4, 2013 at 9:59 AM

Why isn’t there a big stink about this?

BuckeyeSam on June 4, 2013 at 9:59 AM

Easy:

1) He’s black
2) He’s a democrat
3) He’s Moses

BacaDog on June 4, 2013 at 10:04 AM

And to think, it was his answer to a question from Hank Johnson that put Holder in this pickle.

Who’d of thunk it ?

Jabberwock on June 4, 2013 at 9:41 AM

While it was amusing that Hank Johnson put together an actually coherent question, don’t forget that he was TRYING to do Holder a favour by arguing, absurdly, that journalists could be prosecuted under the Espionage Act for doing their jobs.

It was Johnson’s pathetic attempt to HELP Holder and give him COVER that has, ultimately, led to Holder’s current position.

So, even while he was coherent for a change, Johnson still managed – in a weird way – to fvck up. All because he was trying to do for Eric Holder that which he NEVER would have done for a Gonzales or Ashcroft…and, possibly, a WHITE Democrat AG.

In his effort to ‘save’ a brutha, Johnson might have provided the rhetorical rope to their opponents in which to figuratively hang him. lol

Resist We Much on June 4, 2013 at 10:07 AM

BuckeyeSam on June 4, 2013 at 9:59 AM

I agree with both a special prosecutor and complaints to the Bar. But Obama will never appoint one, while complaints to the Bar might need more solid proof than is available now. A citation for perjury by Congress should be enough.

Not just for Holder, but also Reumller (WH counsel) and Lerner.

Liam on June 4, 2013 at 10:07 AM

Does not “judge shopping” three of them immediately raise eyebrows? Where is the outrage from this trio as to Holder’s manipulation of them?

hillsoftx on June 4, 2013 at 10:08 AM

Lying is DC is now the norm…

PatriotRider on June 4, 2013 at 10:13 AM

dEar congrsee,

My boss did NOt do any rong things. He is GRATE MAN!!!!!!!!!

Plese xcuzz him frum congrsee todaye. hiz tummy hurtz reel bad.

And that didn’t work?

ROCnPhilly on June 4, 2013 at 10:13 AM

Does not “judge shopping” three of them immediately raise eyebrows? Where is the outrage from this trio as to Holder’s manipulation of them?

hillsoftx on June 4, 2013 at 10:08 AM

Eric Holder is also their boss. What I really want to know is who put together and presented to the judge the warrant that Holder signed. There are others in DoJ besides Holder who should be disbarred.

Happy Nomad on June 4, 2013 at 10:14 AM

+1 bacadog

cmsinaz on June 4, 2013 at 10:15 AM

I did not have sex with THAT woman!

Herb on June 4, 2013 at 10:16 AM

when Goodlatte and Sensenbrenner sent the letter to Holder, they expected to get a reply from the Attorney General who offered that testimony and not one of his underlings.

Holder doesn’t want to make any more statements on the record. The more statements he makes, the harder it becomes to maintain the lies. This way, when the next shoe drops, he came blame his underlings for not being precise in what they said.

PackerBronco on June 4, 2013 at 10:18 AM

DOJ: He did not do it…wags finger.

d1carter on June 4, 2013 at 10:20 AM

“Where else are they going after political enemies?” Giuliani asked.

Where aren’t they is a much better question.

weaselyone on June 4, 2013 at 10:21 AM

Executive privilege in 5…4..3.

cmsinaz on June 4, 2013 at 9:37 AM

Bring it. Doing so is an admission the President is involved.

BobMbx on June 4, 2013 at 10:24 AM

Eric Holder isn’t responsible (period).

ActinUpinTexas on June 4, 2013 at 10:28 AM

When asked to describe his actions in the latest Game of Scandals, Eric Hodor replied emphatically ‘ Hodor!‘

CitizenEgg on June 4, 2013 at 9:37 AM

LOL. Well done.

Throat Wobbler Mangrove on June 4, 2013 at 10:29 AM

Bobmbx it helped him with fast and furious…..

cmsinaz on June 4, 2013 at 10:42 AM

“Where else are they going after political enemies?” Giuliani asked.

I would expand this to include supporting their political allies. Let’s run down the current list of executive agencies and recent scandalous activity:

•Department of Agriculture (USDA) – Accused of racism under “Pigford”, no one within the department has been accountable for the so-called “Racism” that has lead to billions of taxpayer money being paid out.

•Department of Commerce (DOC) – John Bryson, former Secretary had a mysterious hit and run incident that forced him to resign. Suspicously we haven’t heard anything since. New nominee, Penny Pritzker is one of the wealthiest 300 Americans and has been tied to a scandal involving sub-prime mortgages.

•Department of Defense (DOD) – Stonewalling on who gave stand down order in Bengazi.

•Department of Education (ED) – Pushing common-core to further entrench Teacher Union interests and further push liberal ideals on our youth under 1 Federal Government.

•Department of Energy (DOE) – Solyndra, Abound Solar, etc. “Energy Prices will necessarily skyrocket”.

•Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) – Sebelius and Obamacare implementation fundraising circumventing Congress.

•Department of Homeland Security (DHS) – For no reason, they released thousands of illegal immigrants under sequestration. Implemented “prosecutorial discretion” to implement the Dream Act without Congress.

•Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) – Can’t find any recent scandals that originated in this Executive Branch. One could argue that they assisted in the Mortgage crisis, but that one is more blamed on Congress than on impropriety within this agency as far as I can tell. Anyone have anything else on these guys?

•Department of Justice (DOJ) – F&F, AP & Fox News spying, Black Panthers, etc…too many to mention

•Department of Labor (DOL) – Unconstitutional NLRB recess apointments
•Department of State (DOS) – Keystone Pipeline, Benghazi talking points, etc.

•Department of the Interior (DOI) – DOI’s own IG recently investigated for conflict of interest and an assistant secretary resigning over grants and travel expenses. Oddly there hasn’t been much brought up about this.

•Department of the Treasury – IRS targeting of conservatives. IRS spending on conferences, etc.

•Department of Transportation (DOT) – Can’t find anything striking that happened here.

•Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) – Had GSA style conferences that cost in excess of $5 million. HR chief resigned over that scandal.

Not under the Executive Agency:
So called independent GSA who is supposed to watch everyone else. They had their own scandal when they had over the top conferences with lavish spending.

weaselyone on June 4, 2013 at 10:43 AM

Hoses added a commandment: “Thou shalt not question me.”

How can you argue with a commandment.

Bishop on June 4, 2013 at 10:44 AM

But honestly, what grade-schooler hasn’t had someone (er, not one of their parents) write a note excusing their absence or abstention from P.E.?

socalcon on June 4, 2013 at 10:48 AM

Bobmbx it helped him with fast and furious…..

cmsinaz on June 4, 2013 at 10:42 AM

For the record, he’s in contempt of Congress for that. Like that means anything at all, I know.

We’re reliant on our representatives in the House to do something about it. I hope you’re not holding your breath.

BobMbx on June 4, 2013 at 10:51 AM

It was Johnson’s pathetic attempt to HELP Holder and give him COVER that has, ultimately, led to Holder’s current position.

Resist We Much on June 4, 2013 at 10:07 AM

Hank kind of tipped over Eric’s ‘island’.

socalcon on June 4, 2013 at 10:53 AM

Hoses added a commandment: “Thou shalt not question me.”

How can you argue with a commandment. (?)

Bishop on June 4, 2013 at 10:44 AM

Add a “?” and ya just did.

Jabberwock on June 4, 2013 at 10:53 AM

I was in my 20s back then and I didn’t pay much attention to Watergate, but I bet it went a lot like this.

scalleywag on June 4, 2013 at 10:53 AM

principal deputy assistant attorney general

That right there is reason enough to shrink government ASAP.

Nutstuyu on June 4, 2013 at 10:55 AM

Well, he could always admit to signing blank warrants for his staff…in the spirit of efficiency….

Don L on June 4, 2013 at 10:56 AM

weaselyone on June 4, 2013 at 10:43 AM

Don’t forget the Securities and Exchange Commissions (SEC).

Nutstuyu on June 4, 2013 at 10:57 AM

Nevertheless, Giuliani says that Holder should “prove his innocence somewhere else” than the Department of Justice, and that any other lawyer would be facing disbarment under the same circumstances:

Bammie can save Moses from criminal prosecution with a get out of jail free card, but there is nothing that will save him from a disbarment proceeding, assuming any jurisdiction which licensed him feels compelled to act.

BigAlSouth on June 4, 2013 at 10:57 AM

Actually, he did both. He lied to the judge AND he lied to congress.

dogsoldier on June 4, 2013 at 9:34 AM

True, but the critical question is, how long ago was it?

Barnestormer on June 4, 2013 at 11:02 AM

If I were James Rosen I would have my lawyers in front of the judge(s) who authorized the warrents. Seems like a great opportunity to have any and all communication records removed from DoJ and handed over to his lawyers and summarily render all evidence obtained as tainted and inadmissable, should any attempt to prosecute come about.
They need to be hit back on multiple fronts, and, while I’m a babe in the woods on legal matters (‘cept for what I seen on Law and Order), I think that would be a good start.

questionmark on June 4, 2013 at 11:04 AM

Chairman Goodlatte: “Today’s response from the Justice Department’s Office of Legislative Affairs raises more questions than it answers. By having a subordinate send this response rather than Attorney General Holder himself, this response begs the question of whether Holder has something to hide.

Hmmm.. I would have expected a “fast and furious” defense by his staff.

lonestarleeroy on June 4, 2013 at 11:14 AM

Don’t forget the Securities and Exchange Commissions (SEC).

Nutstuyu on June 4, 2013 at 10:57 AM

I was just trying to stick with Agencies directly under the Executive. Those who have a “Secretary”. The SEC board is appointed by the President, but I don’t believe there is a direct report to the President exceptthe board as a whole.

Just more proof of the expansiveness of our government I guess that we have multiple ways in which they report to the President.

weaselyone on June 4, 2013 at 11:17 AM

Hank kind of tipped over Eric’s ‘island’.

socalcon on June 4, 2013 at 10:53 AM

Yeppers.

Greetings from Guam!

Resist We Much on June 4, 2013 at 11:25 AM

I expect a subpoena will be issued, Holder will ignore it and have his buddy Obama run interference. We’ll never get the truth out of either of them.

sadatoni on June 4, 2013 at 11:37 AM

Times-Dispatch: A senior Justice Department official told two Republican congressmen … Peter J. Kadzik, the principal deputy assistant attorney general, sent a letter…

.

Subcommittee Chairman Sensenbrenner: “This response is insulting … Not only did the letter come from a low-level staffer at DOJ…

LOL – talk about insulting – that was a big-time slap-down of the “senior” official.

KS Rex on June 4, 2013 at 11:55 AM

So I says to myself, “Did I”, and I said “No!”, so I says to myself “You are innocent”, and I says, “Thank you, I knew I was”.

Case closed…

right2bright on June 4, 2013 at 1:45 PM

So I asked the person who works for me, who has a lifetime job of large pay and influence, who can be fired by me at any time…”Do you think I am innocent?”, and he looked me in the eye, took a deep breath and said “No sir, you are the most honest man I have ever worked for”. I said “Thank you, I knew I was”.

And once again, case closed…

right2bright on June 4, 2013 at 1:47 PM

Oh, quit playing games and subpoena his dumbazz already.

sage0925 on June 4, 2013 at 7:49 PM