Eric Holder Says He Regrets Lying To A Judge And Saying A Reporter Was A 'Co-Conspirator' But The Law Made Him Do It

from the uh,-no-it-didn't dept

Giving a talk at the Washington Ideas Forum, outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder spoke about two different (though, similarly named) journalists that the DOJ has been absolutely egregious in trying to abuse for the sake of questionable leak investigations. Regarding James Risen, the NY Times reporter who the DOJ has been pursuing and demanding he reveal sources concerning a leak (when it's clear the DOJ already knows the source and is just doing this to destroy Risen's credibility with sources), Holder says that the DOJ expects "a resolution" in the near future. That's not too surprising. Holder and the DOJ seem to realize that actually putting Risen in jail (the next step in the process) probably wouldn't go over very well.

But it's the other journalist where things get a bit dicier. That's Fox News reporter James Rosen (note the different letter from Risen). Rosen, you may recall, had his phone, email and security badge records grabbed by the government, after the DOJ told a court that Rosen wasn't a reporter, but "an aider and abettor and/or co-conspirator" in the "crime" of leaking classified information about North Korea from the State Department. It later came out that the DOJ actually pretended Rosen was involved in a bombing in its motions to the court.

Holder was asked if there was a decision during his tenure that he regretted, and he brought up the Rosen story:
Holder: I think that -- I think about the subpoena to the Fox reporter, Rosen. I think that I could have been a little more careful in looking at the language that was contained in the filing that we made with the court. He was labeled as a -- as a co-conspirator. I mean, you had to do that as a result of the statute, but there are ways in which I think that could have been done differently, done better. And that's one of the reasons why I thought the criticism that we received because of that -- and the AP matter as well -- was something that we had to act upon and why we put in place this review of our -- the way in which we interact with the media.
Except, as Julian Sanchez points out, that's completely bogus. Holder claiming they had to do that because of the statute is flat out opposites-ville. They had to do that because the statute doesn't allow them to spy on journalists. The law was designed to stop the DOJ from spying on journalists, and so the only way to break that was to lie to the court. The law in question -- 18 USC 793 is designed to only apply to the people actually committing the crime of leaking defense information -- and not to reporters.

Holder claiming that the statute effectively "forced" him into declaring Rosen a co-conspirator is ridiculous. The statute compels him not to seize Rosen's records. Holder is admitting that the DOJ lied to the court here and trying to blame the statute for that lie. That's astounding.

Filed Under: doj, eric holder, investigations, james risen, james rosen, leaks, reporters, terrorism, whistleblowers


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  • icon
    Vidiot (profile), 30 Oct 2014 @ 7:54am

    Hey... it happens

    I know a guy who was forced to lie to the court, saying he didn't rob that bank... all because of a stupid statute which says you can't rob banks. Totally sympathize with Holder.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Michael, 30 Oct 2014 @ 11:01am

      Re: Hey... it happens

      I know a guy that had to flee to Russia because there was a law that said he couldn't expose government wrongdoings to the media.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    AricTheRed (profile), 30 Oct 2014 @ 9:31am

    Really?

    Face-palm...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Oct 2014 @ 10:07am

      Re: Really?

      Yes, it's sad. In the DOJ's twisted world, Holder is 100% accurate.

      The reporter was bad because he did something that the DOJ didn't like. The law was written to protect the reporter (bad law), so Holder had to declare Rosen a co-conspirator so he could go after him, which was the right thing, because Holder said so.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    ottermaton (profile), 30 Oct 2014 @ 9:32am

    correction?

    Should that be ROsen in the last sentence of the 2nd paragraph?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Oct 2014 @ 9:34am

    Dis Barment?

    Is Holder still a member of a Bar? If so, that admission should get him kicked out post haste.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Oct 2014 @ 9:35am

    I WAS JUST FOLLOWING ORDERS!
    I WAS JUST FOLLOWING ORDERS!
    I WAS JUST FOLLOWING ORDERS!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Oct 2014 @ 10:06am

    Eric Holder is a piece of shit... just like Obama and the rest of the U.S. regime.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    TheResidentSkeptic (profile), 30 Oct 2014 @ 10:08am

    Or...

    Eric Holder regrets getting caught.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    TasMot (profile), 30 Oct 2014 @ 10:09am

    However; Holder's only subject to the high court

    So, he will never, ever face any repercussions of lying to the court. Only low court people would have to face repercussions of lying to the court. Holder and his DOJ cronies will retire rich and privileged and life will go on as this is quickly swept under the rug and forgotten. For the rest of us underprivileged sort, lying to the court would result in a trial and fine and/or jail time, just not for the head of the Department of Justice, he's allowed to lie to the court and get away with it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    MondoGordo (profile), 30 Oct 2014 @ 10:17am

    Holder vs. Aereo

    Funny how when the DOJ circumvents the letter of the law by lying about the facts, the law forced them to do it; But when Aereo complies with the letter of the law, they're accused of deliberately circumventing it and slapped down.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Oct 2014 @ 10:20am

    Uh, Mike, you need to remember there's a difference between things that aren't true and things you wish weren't true. You and I may not like it that DOJ labeled Rosen a coconspirator in a warrant application, but that doesn't mean it's a "lie." Sec 793 is broadly worded. It can be read to cover Rosen too. Obviously you don't think it should be. I don't think it shows be. Hell, I doubt even Holder thinks it should be. But that doesn't make the coconspirator claim a "lie."

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      John Fenderson (profile), 30 Oct 2014 @ 10:48am

      Re:

      I must have a broader definition of "lie" than you. To me, something is a lie when there is an intention to deceive. I think that intention is very clear here. That the lie may have been technically within the bounds of written law doesn't make it any less of a lie.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), 30 Oct 2014 @ 10:59am

      Re:

      It can be read to cover Rosen too.

      No, it really cannot be by any sane reading of it. While I'm not a lawyer, it clearly is not written to be applied to news reporting.

      http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/uscode/18/I/37/793

      And even if in some twisted version you see it that way, the DOJ **still** lied about him being involved in a bombing plot.

      There is no law or statute that requires the DOJ or a prosecutor to label someone a co-conspirator or to make shit up that is clearly not true on a warrant.

      The DOJ clearly lied, and Holder signed off on it. But there is no accountability, so nothing is going to be done and clear acts of perjury will just be let by.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      djl47 (profile), 30 Oct 2014 @ 2:53pm

      Re: Double Plus Good Rationalizations

      Hi Eric. Glad you could join the discussion. I am sure you believe that. Oh, it isn't necessary to speak of yourself in the third person.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Oct 2014 @ 10:32am

    I also find it "astounding" -- not what Holder did (as most all prosecutors knowingly exaggerate charges) but the fact that he actually admitted it.

    Surprisingly, it seems like Holder just might have a smidgen of conscience in his soul. Most bureaucrats follow the "I regret nothing (and if I had to do it all over again, I would)" mantra, no matter how colossal their mistakes or misconduct might be.

    Dick Cheney comes to mind as someone who failed miserably yet will insist until the day he dies that he did everything right. I don't fault Holder for being honest, I applaud him for it. Hopefully he will admit more prosecutorial shenanigans, perhaps even something we don't already know.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      AricTheRed (profile), 30 Oct 2014 @ 10:37am

      Re:

      Remarkably fair-minded of you. You are a better person than I.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Oct 2014 @ 11:00am

      Re:

      yea... I applaud when criminals admit their guilt too...

      Still want them in Jail for what they have done either way!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 30 Oct 2014 @ 1:18pm

      Re:

      You give him more credit than I do then, I imagine he's willing to admit to it because he knows that he won't face any repercussions from doing so.

      'Yeah, I lied to a judge so we could go after someone we otherwise wouldn't have been able to, no big deal.'

      It's almost bragging at that point.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 30 Oct 2014 @ 7:54pm

        Re: Re:

        Admissions of wrongdoing should always be welcome. Otherwise, government officials are just encouraged to continue lying and denying.

        One person who worked under Eric Holder, SEC prosecutor James Kidney, even admitted as he walked out the door that the entire federal "investigation" of Wall St. bank fraud was a total farce. Which of course everyone already knew, but it's always nice to hear it from someone near the top.

        Securities and Exchange Commission prosecuting attorney, James Kidney, said at his recent retirement party on March 27th, that his prosecutions of Goldman Sachs and other mega-banks had been squelched by top people at the agency, because they “were more focused on getting high-paying jobs after their government service than on bringing difficult cases.” He suggested that SEC officials knew that Wall Street would likely hire them after the SEC at much bigger pay than their government remuneration was, so long as the SEC wouldn’t prosecute those megabank executives on any criminal charges for helping to cause the mortgage-backed securities scams and resulting 2008 economic crash.


        http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/04/09/65578/

        Eric Holder has been unremarkable silent on these charges of inbred corruption.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        TLea, 31 Oct 2014 @ 8:45am

        Re: Re:It's also bragging at that point

        That is exactly what I was thinking after reading the article, the POS is bragging about lying to the Judge.
        EH lied to congress, he was held in contempt of congress and what happened,absolutely nothing, he knows he's untouchable.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Oct 2014 @ 10:42am

    so, openly admitting that he lied, those two persons involved, Risen and Rosen, are going to be allowed to carry on about their busines, after getting written apologies from Holder and the DoJ?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      David, 30 Oct 2014 @ 4:08pm

      Re:

      Oh Lord no, they are bad people. It took a bit of lying and misleading and law-bending to frame them, but you would not want to let all that effort go waste now, would you?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Michael, 30 Oct 2014 @ 10:44am

    Anyone named James Rasen or James Resen should really move out of the country.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Dirkmaster (profile), 30 Oct 2014 @ 10:59am

    No one should be surprised

    Holder has proven himself to be a liar time and time again.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    DigDug, 30 Oct 2014 @ 11:30am

    Holder lies to explain why he lied to the court..

    Is it considered circular perjury when one lies to explain why one lied to the judges and the court, as well as falsified court documents.

    It's still perjury, which is a crime, and he needs to spend time in prison for it.

    It's also illegal to falsify court documents with known false information.

    Now he's publicly lying as to why he perjured himself and falsified court documents.

    Holder needs to spend about 10 to 50 years in prison, preferably a maximum security one due to his actions being of the worst criminal variety. I'd consider his actions on the same level as mass murder.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Oct 2014 @ 12:03pm

    This is precisely why the citizens of this country no longer trust their officials.

    There's no accountability for wrong doing and those in charge think there is nothing wrong with bending the law to allow them to do what ever it is they have in mind. This extends to redefining what words mean to all it to break the law as it stands.

    This is the same behavior demonstrated by criminals.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Oct 2014 @ 12:58pm

    Yet another senior official in the US government caught flat-out lying to the court and the American public. Shocking!

    Even more shocking is nobody is being charged with making false statements, perjury, or obstruction of justice over falsified and fabricated charges. Especially the fabricated charge that Risen was involved in a bombing.

    I don't have much faith or respect left for America's corrupt justice system. We're officially in kangaroo court territory now.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    ArkieGuy (profile), 30 Oct 2014 @ 1:03pm

    An alternate reading of the quote...

    When Holder said Rosen "was labeled as a co-conspirator. I mean, you had to do that as a result of the statute", what he could have meant was "for us to prosecute the reporter under this statute, we had to name his as a co-conspirator because we couldn't charge him any other way (and we were bloody well going to charge him)."

    His remorse was that he couldn't go after him directly. ;)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Sheogorath (profile), 30 Oct 2014 @ 1:16pm

    Eric Holder Says He Regrets Lying To A Judge And Saying A Reporter Was A 'Co-Conspirator', But The Law Made Him Do It
    Oh, I get it. Eric Holder clearly thinks he's Judge Dredd: "I am the law!"

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Oct 2014 @ 2:00pm

    So, please, Mr. Holder, can you provide the relevant statutes for that, without pulling them out of your ass?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 31 Oct 2014 @ 1:56pm

      Re:

      It's the Fox News Is Evil And All Lies And Corruption Are Fair Game In Fighting Them Because They're Not Even Real Journalists Because I Don't Like Them statute of 2008.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    David, 30 Oct 2014 @ 2:48pm

    Holder

    Holder is admitting that the DOJ lied to the court here and trying to blame the statute for that lie. That's astounding.

    No, that's "my ends justify the means" Holder. A modern-day Lynch, he won't have the law get in the way of his idea of justice.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    ambrellite (profile), 30 Oct 2014 @ 3:22pm

    Interesting choice of words

    I'm confused. How can you falsely accuse a reporter of involvement in a bombing plot "better"? Fabricate evidence? Bribe the judge? Not get caught?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      David, 30 Oct 2014 @ 4:25pm

      Re: Interesting choice of words

      I'm confused. How can you falsely accuse a reporter of involvement in a bombing plot "better"? Fabricate evidence? Bribe the judge? Not get caught?

      Be less obviously a crook. It's like a policeman priding himself not to use excessive force when killing innocents in order to cover his department's ass. Just enough to do the trick.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Oct 2014 @ 5:33pm

    Tyranny, the land of the free is dead

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Oct 2014 @ 5:48pm

    So let me see if I've got this right...

    When Eric Holder blatantly lies to get around the law it's allowed, but when Aereo follows the law, it's called getting around it?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    GEMont (profile), 31 Oct 2014 @ 4:18pm

    Deception is the name of the game

    "The statute compels him not to seize Rosen's records. Holder is admitting that the DOJ lied to the court here and trying to blame the statute for that lie. That's astounding."

    How is that astounding?

    Does anyone here remember the last time anyone from the DOJ, or any of the federal law enforcement or spy agencies opened their mouth and something true fell out?

    Nope.

    The Department of Just Ice and all of the Federal La La La enforcement agencies LIE whenever they are forced to deal with the public in any way whatsoever.

    If it were up to the Feds, the public would be forbidden from questioning any of its actions and would receive only the Hollywood version of reality in any news report it approved.

    They all LIE because they DO NOT want the public to learn what they are really doing with all of that free taxpayer and confiscation derived money they spend every year.

    They don't want the public to learn what they are doing because what they are doing is both illegal/criminal in a real democracy and immoral anywhere outside a fascist dictatorship.

    What they are doing is setting up the infrastructure of the very evils they are claiming to fight, so that there will be some actual evidence of their activity in the daily news.

    In exactly the same way that it has created ISIS/ISIL to give the NSA that much needed new lease on life and its excuse for the new budget funding, all other branches of the federal government are creating their own "evil forces", using your money, so they have something to point at when asked where all the money went.

    This is being done because of the huge success of the Drug War and its half century plus and counting, of public support and funding that has funnelled hundreds of billions of dollars out of the taxpayer's pocket and into the Federal hole in the ocean since its creation, with absolutely zero positive results to show for all that cash and time.

    What the public has learned so far from the miniscule leaks that have escaped the system, is not even the barest tip of this iceberg, and the Federal Gangsters want to keep that iceberg hidden for as long as possible.

    After all, most of the branches of the Civilian-based Public Policing Army are not yet fully armored up and are still basically under-trained in National Crown Control.

    ---

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    LOL, 1 Nov 2014 @ 3:15pm

    The law made me do it!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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