Eric Holder Approved Search Warrant for Fox News Reporter

In what may be the most damaging revelation to date in the two-week storm of White House scandals, it was reported Thursday that Attorney General Eric Holder approved the federal search warrant targeting a Fox News Channel reporter in a criminal investigation. The confirmation by Michael Isikoff of NBC News that Holder signed off on the warrant, which accused FNC’s chief Washington correspondent James Rosen of violating the Espionage Act, immediately raised questions about whether President Obama was aware the Justice Department had deliberately focused its efforts against a network viewed as hostile by his administration.

“Very important question: did Holder or anyone else at DOJ inform the White House of the Rosen warrant?” Ryan Lizza of the New Yorker asked in a Twitter message.

The answer to that question, however, appeared to be contained in Isikoff’s report quoting an anonymous official who said the 2010 search warrant that targeted Rosen ”was approved at the highest levels — and I mean the highest.”

Potentially implicating the president directly in one of the Obama administration’s rapidly growing scandals, the Isikoff report prompted Fox News contributor Mary Katharine Ham to muse at the popular Hot Air blog:

We’ve wondered many a time whether there was anything that could warrant Holder’s losing the “full confidence” of President Obama. Up until now, he has defied political expectations and logic as he careened from the center of one major administration scandal to another.

The Washington Post reported Monday that the probe aimed at Rosen involved one of his State Department sources, arms expert Stephen Jin-Woo Kim. It began after Rosen reported in June 2009 about North Korea’s nuclear weapons program, apparently based on Kim’s leak of a top-secret U.S. intelligence report. Documents in the Kim case showed that federal agents obtained phone and e-mail records for Rosen, as well as records of the Fox reporter’s use of a State Department security-badge swipe card.

News that the administration investigated FNC’s Rosen followed the May 13 report that the Associated Press was targeted by Justice for a secret seizure of phone records in 2012. Obama addressed the scandal in a speech Thursday, saying, “Journalists should not be at legal risk for doing their jobs,” and adding: “I have raised these issues with the attorney general, who shares my concern.”



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