Attorney General Eric Holder pauses during a news conference at the Justice Department in Washington, Tuesday, May 14, 2013. Holder said he's ordered a Justice Department investigation into the Internal Revenue Service's targeting of conservative groups for extra tax scrutiny. (Photo: AP/J. Scott Applewhite)
Attorney General Eric Holder might not have been the one to sign off on the subpoena that allowed two months of Associated Press reporters' and editors' phone records to be obtained, but he has authorized similar subpoenas in the past.
Speaking with NRP's Carrie Johnson on Morning Edition, Holder couldn't say just how often this happens though.
"I'm not sure how many of those cases ... I have actually signed off on," Holder said. "I take them very seriously. I know that I have refused to sign a few [and] pushed a few back for modifications."
TheBlaze pointed out that according to the DOJ’s U.S. Attorneys’ Manual, Holder's signature would generally be required for the "issuance of any subpoena to a member of the news media or for the telephone toll records of a member of the news media." In the case of the leak for which the Associated Press was being investigated, Holder said he wasn't involved as he had recused himself of the case in order to avoid a conflict of interest.
At a press conference Tuesday, Holder was asked if the phone records of other news organizations were obtained during the investigation. Holder said he couldn't answer that as he wasn't sure since he had been recused.
News organizations through the Reporters Committee for Freedom of Press sent a letter to Holder Tuesday asking that the department "return the telephone toll records obtained and destroy all copies" and "announce whether it has served any other pending news media-related subpoenas that have not yet been disclosed," among other requests.
(H/T: Huffington Post)