Issa warns Holder not to take 'perjury lightly’
By Elise Viebeck - 06/02/13 09:50 AM ET
House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) strongly suggested that Attorney General Eric Holder perjured himself before a congressional panel investigating the Justice Department's treatment of reporters.
In an interview on CNN's "State of the Union," Issa warned Holder not to "use perjury lightly" when discussing his approval of a search warrant for the emails of Fox News reporter James Rosen.
"It's hard to have confidence in what this attorney general says or what his people say," Issa said Sunday.
The Justice Department (DOJ) is investigating Rosen for allegedly soliciting classified information from a government source.
DOJ has denied that Holder lied to the House Judiciary Committee when he said that he was never involved in the "potential prosecution of the press for the disclosure of material."
On CNN Sunday, Issa said Holder's statement would be considered a lie by the average person given his approval of a search warrant for Rosen's emails. "He certainly could have been more candid," Issa said.
When asked if Holder should resign, Issa demurred, saying it's "up to the president."
The Oversight chairman also went on to criticize the Obama administration for its handling of a botched ATF gun-walking program, "Operation Fast and Furious," saying Holder was less than forthcoming in aiding a congressional probe.
"The attorney general maliciously covered up and will not give us the facts [on] the 'Fast and Furious' case," Issa said.
"When he does something similar, tries to cover up his tracks as to a warrant he signed, am I surprised? No."
The House voted to place Holder in contempt of Congress last year after he refused to turn over documents relating to Fast and Furious requested by lawmakers, citing executive privilege.
DOJ says that Holder did not perjure himself over the Rosen testimony because prosecutors have never sought charges against the Fox reporter.
"During the Attorney General's tenure, no reporter has ever been prosecuted," DOJ said in a statement last week.