In an exclusive interview with NBC Nightly News on Wednesday, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said he has “no intention” of stepping down because he still has “some things I want to get done.”
The attorney general also acknowledged that Justice Department investigators may have overstepped their bounds in recent journalist probes and that national security concerns should be better balanced with Constitutionally protected press freedoms.
“I’m a little concerned that things have gotten a little out of whack,” Holder said of the DOJ’s actions. “I think we can do a better job than we have. We can reform those regulations, reform those guidelines to better reflect that balance.”
The DOJ subpoenaed Associated Press phone records and got a search warrant to look at Fox News reporter James Rosen’s emails and phone records, painting him “at the very least either as an aider, abettor, and/or co-conspirator” surrounding a leak.
Holder appeared particularly troubled by the Rosen characterization, a result, he said, of laws on the books that say those specific words must be used in order to procure a search warrant…and the need to use that language is one of several things that should be changed, Holder noted.
“I don’t like that, because it means me as official who has great respect for the press, is in essence saying a reporter doing his or her job and doing that important job is somehow branded a criminal,” Holder revealed. “I’m just not comfortable with that, we’re going to change that.”
While Holder added that he has “no intention” of resigning at this point, that option appears likely down the road once he’s finished with “some things I want to get done.”
Here’s the interview segment with NBC Nightly News: