Fox News won't attend off-the-record meeting on leaks with Holder

Fox News will not attend a meeting with Attorney General Eric Holder on the Justice Department’s policy of targeting the media in national security leaks investigations if the session is off the record, the network said Thursday.

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Fox pointed to a message on Twitter by Fox anchor Bret Baier in confirming the decision.

"Decision: Fox News’ Executive Vice President Michael Clemente has said that Fox News will NOT attend the DOJ meeting if it is OFF the record," Baier wrote in the message.

A person familiar with the company's internal debate told The Hill on Wednesday that they would be attending, but a story that ran on Fox early Thursday said they were undecided.


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Fox is just the latest media organization to say it will boycott the meeting if it is off the record. Holder asked for the meetings in an attempt to ensure the press corps that its investigations of national security leaks are conducted in a way that respects the First Amendment.

The New York Times, The Associated Press, The Huffington Post and CNN have issued separate statements saying they will not attend because the DOJ is requiring the content of the meetings stay confidential. 

Fox is at the center of the controversy surrounding the Justice Department’s investigation of national security leaks.

The DOJ seized the personal emails of Fox News chief Washington correspondent James Rosen and used other surveillance methods to investigate whether he was complicit in a leak of classified information.

It also examined his phone records and tracked his visits to the State Department using security-badge data during the 2009 probe; the DOJ also filed legal papers saying he may have acted as “an aider, abettor and/or co-conspirator” by getting materials from a government official also under investigation.


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The House Judiciary Committee is now investigating whether Holder lied under oath during his May 15 testimony before the panel, in which he said he’s never been involved with or heard about a reporter being prosecuted for the disclosure of confidential material.

Fox News host Greta Van Susteren joked on her blog Thursday that if Fox was going to be the only media outlet attending the off-the-record meeting, they should send Rosen to meet with Holder.

“I have no idea if Fox has declined the behind closed doors meeting or not,” she wrote. “But can you imagine how funny if only Fox News showed up? Would the Attorney General meet alone with Fox News Channel? I bet he would not … but it would be a great photo op (for Fox, that is!) and I think FNC’s James Rosen should represent Fox at the meeting.”

This story was posted at 10:28 a.m. and updated at 12:00 p.m.