The New Yorker’s Ryan Lizza has become the go-to source for coverage of the Eric Holder/James Rosen scandal, and tonight he has some good advice for the GOP. While the Democratic strategists known as the mainstream media express their concern that Republicans are in danger of “overreaching” in their pursuit of the attorney general, Lizza notes that Holder’s apparent perjury shouldn’t be the main concern of investigators and reporters.
Instead, a letter sent from the Justice Department to the chairs of the House Judiciary Committee today shows the DOJ doubling down on its unprecedented pursuit of a search warrant against the Fox News reporter, according to Lizza.
The First Amendment Privacy Protection Act precludes the issuance of search warrants for “materials” belonging to journalists (such as the content of emails) without probable cause that the journalist has committed a crime.
Again, the Justice Department seems to be saying that it never intended to prosecute Rosen under the Espionage Act; it just had to accuse him of being a conspirator so that it could secretly search his personal emails. As Reuters reported, President Obama “believes firmly in freedom of the press and does not want journalists prosecuted for doing their jobs.” That search warrant was just an unpleasant formality.
As if that weren’t enough, there’s always that apparent perjury thing.