President Obama met with Attorney General Eric HolderEric H. HolderTrust Women opposes Sen. Session's nomination Former AG launches redistricting effort to help Dems reclaim power The racism inquisition over Jeff Sessions MORE on Friday and “accepted” a report on the Justice Department's targeting of media members who published classified information, the White House said Friday.
Press secretary Jay Carney said that the full report would be released Friday by the Justice Department, but declined to discuss the contents of the report.
The New York Times and Reuters reported Friday that the attorney general is expected to issue new guidelines that will limit the circumstances under which the Justice Department could obtain journalists' records.
The new regulations will explicitly prohibit the government from portraying a reporter as a co-conspirator, as happened to Fox News reporter James Rosen. It will also toughen requirements for prosecutors to obtain journalists' phone records without giving advance notice and allow organizations to contest the request in court.
The new guidelines are expected to be implemented almost immediately. The detailed report will be released by the Justice Department at 3 p.m.
During a speech in May, the president announced that Holder would launch the review amid criticism of the DOJ's seizure of records belonging to The Associated Press and Fox News, as well as the labeling of Rosen as a criminal “con-conspirator” in a legal document used to seize personal emails.
The AP said the Justice Department had seized records from some 20 phone lines used by journalists and editors who worked on a story related to a foiled terror plot.
The president said he was “troubled by the possibility that leak investigations may chill the investigative journalism that holds government accountable,” and had expressed that concern to Holder.
The attorney general, in turn, agreed to review Justice Department guidelines governing leak investigations and meet with a group of media organizations.
“Journalists should not be at legal risk for doing their jobs,” Obama said. “Our focus must be on those who break the law.”
Holder subsequently sought to meet with representatives from a wide variety of media organizations, although many boycotted the off-the-record sessions.