Eric Holder Recused Himself From AP Investigation: Is He Implicated?

by
Owen Poindexter
Attorney General Eric Holder announced at a press conference today that he recused himself from the Department of Justice probe into a leak from the Associated Press, which resulted in members of the DoJ subpoenaing phone records of AP reporters.

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Attorney General Eric Holder revealed that he recused himself into an investigation of the AP probe that led to phone records being subpoened.
 
Attorney General Eric Holder announced at a press conference today that he recused himself from the Department of Justice probe into a leak from the Associated Press, which resulted in members of the DoJ subpoenaing phone records of AP reporters. It's not clear if DoJ officials listened to conversations that the reporters had with their sources, but they did obtain the numbers, duration and dates and times of conversations.
 
Holder said he knew nothing about the collecting of AP phone records, but defended the investigation into the leak, which was a reaction to an AP story about counter-terrorism efforts in Yemen:

Holder said Tuesday the leak “is among the most serious — top two or three — I’ve ever seen. It put the American people at risk, that is not hyperbole.”

Holder says he recused himself because he had been interviewed by the FBI on the AP leak in June. If Holder is telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, then he is in the clear, and can stay on as Attorney General, albeit an embattled one. Many conservatives, however, are convinced we are one revelation away from a Holder resignation.

It's worth taking a moment to remember how the Bush Administration handled a similar situation. When former Ambassador Joseph Wilson cast doubt on their key piece of evidence that Iraq was working on a WMD, they outed Valerie Plame, his wife, as a CIA agent working abroad. That could have endangered her life (or at least led to a strange arrest involving wigs). I'm not saying the Obama Administration deserves no blame here, but give them a little credit for responding in a cautious way and not reflexively attacking their attackers. Also, leaning toward defense instead of offense explains why the Obama Administration was doing counterterrorism in Yemen instead of starting a ground war in Iraq.

 

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