Judiciary chairman ‘very concerned’ about possible Holder perjury

The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee on Sunday said the panel is “very concerned” about the possibility Attorney General Eric Holder committed perjury by testifying under oath that he was not aware of an investigation of a Fox News reporter.

Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) said the committee was awaiting a response from Holder on a conflict between his statement and the fact that he had signed a search warrant for the reporter, James Rosen.

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Asked on “Fox News Sunday” if he was investigating Holder for perjury, Goodlatte replied: “We certainly are very concerned about that.”

He said the committee had sent Holder a letter asking for a response by Wednesday.

“So yes, it is fair to say we are investigating the conflict in his remarks,” Goodlatte said. “Those remarks were made under oath. But we also think it’s very important the attorney general be afforded the opportunity to respond.”

“So we will wait to pass judgment on that until we see his response,” he said.

Goodlatte criticized the Justice Department’s handling of leak probes after it was found that the department seized phone records of the Associated Press and monitored Rosen’s emails. 

The department has said its actions against Rosen adhered to its policies because it never sought to prosecute him, even though an affidavit said he may have aided and abetted a criminal leak.

“This is a very, very serious allegation and the Justice Department I think made the problem worse by claiming that because they were not prosecuting him there was no false information given [in the affidavit],” Goodlatte said.

Democratic Rep. Chris Van Hollen (Md.) defended the Justice Department and said the congressional inquiries “reek of hypocrisy” after Republicans had pressed for investigations into national security leaks.