Holder: I'm Not Sure How Often We Spy on Journalists

Attorney general to face House grilling today
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted May 15, 2013 7:35 AM CDT
Updated May 15, 2013 7:53 AM CDT
Holder: I'm Not Sure How Often We Spy on Journalists
Attorney General Eric Holder is questioned about the Justice Department secretly obtaining telephone records for The Associated Press, during a news conference at the Justice Department, May 14, 2013.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

The Justice Department's secret subpoena of AP phone records might not have been a one-time occurrence. Eric Holder tells NPR that he has no idea how many times he'd allowed the department to snoop on journalists. "I'm not sure how many of those cases … I have actually signed off on," he said. "I know that I have refused to sign a few [and] pushed a few back for modifications." Holder also wouldn't promise to review the policy allowing such record seizures.

Holder will find himself on the hot seat on the matter when he testifies before the House Judiciary Committee today. Meanwhile, the GOP is sharpening its ax: Senate Judiciary Committee member Chuck Grassley told the Hill yesterday that he wants a select committee to "look into how the Justice Department can be doing this," and Politico adds that RNC chair Reince Priebus called for Holder's head, saying he had "trampled on the First Amendment." And Democrats are also abandoning him, with Harry Reid calling the subpoena "inexcusable. There's no way to justify this." (Read more Eric Holder stories.)

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