White House rejects Republican charges attorney general misled Congress

The White House on Wednesday defended Attorney General Eric HolderEric Himpton HolderOne quick asylum fix: How Garland can help domestic violence survivors First redistricting lawsuits filed by Democratic group On The Trail: Census data kicks off the biggest redistricting fight in American history MORE from accusations that he lied under oath to Congress regarding his involvement in the monitoring of a Fox News reporter’s email account.


“It seems self-evident that that charge is inaccurate,” White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters. “Based on the published reports that I have seen, I have seen no conflict between what the attorney general said and published reports.”

"The president believes that the attorney general is doing a good job and the president has confidence in the attorney general," Carney added.

The House Judiciary Committee has opened an investigation into Holder’s May 15 testimony to the committee regarding reporter James Rosen.

The panel is looking at a statement Holder made during an exchange with Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) about whether the DOJ could prosecute reporters under the Espionage Act of 1917.

“In regard to potential prosecution of the press for the disclosure of material — this is not something I’ve ever been involved in, heard of, or would think would be wise policy,” Holder said at the time.

Media reports later found that Holder personally approved a search warrant that labeled Rosen a co-conspirator in a national security leaks case.

Accusations that Holder misled Congress are wrong, Carney said. 

“Clearly what the attorney general said is accurate,” he said.

Carney said that media reports indicate that no prosecution of Rosen is being contemplated, and that therefore Holder’s statement regarding potential prosecution is correct.

“I think based on what you said, he testified truthfully,” Carney said after the Holder quote was read aloud by a reporter. “You guys are conflating the subpoena with prosecution.”