National Security

House Judiciary Investigating Holder’s Statements

House Judiciary chairman: 'Fair to say' committee is investigating attorney general for 'conflicts' in testimony

AP

The House Judiciary Committee is investigating "conflicts" in statements given by Attorney General Eric Holder, committee chairman Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R., Va.) said Sunday.

Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle appeared on the Sunday news shows and called on Holder to address the apparent discrepancies in his May 15 testimony before the House Judiciary Committee.

Goodlatte said it was "fair to say" that his committee was investigating those statements in an interview with "Fox News Sunday."

"We are investigating the conflicts in his remarks, those remarks were made under oath," he said. "But we also think it’s very important that the attorney general be afforded the opportunity to respond, so we will wait to pass judgment on that until after we receive his response [to a request for information made via letter]."

Regarding the Department of Justice’s investigation into Fox News reporter James Rosen, Holder told the committee, "This is not something I’ve ever been involved in, heard of, or would think would be wise policy." His testimony, which was given under oath, drew scrutiny when it was discovered that the attorney general approved subpoenas to probe Rosen's phone records.

Since this information came to light, questions have been raised over whether or not Holder lied under oath and if he should resign. Sunday, Republicans expressed concern over Holder’s testimony, but were hesitant to call for a resignation.

"It would be kind to say [Holder] misled Congress," Rep. Darrell Issa (R., Calif.) said Sunday in an interview with CNN. "It would be less kind and more accurate to say, that would rise to be a lie by most people’s standards."

"One of the things about perjury, this is the attorney general, don’t use perjury lightly," Issa cautioned. "Perjury is a criminal charge that has to be proven, but certainly it’s hard to have confidence in what this attorney general says, or his people say, when so often it turns out not to be true."

Democrats, such as Sen. Charles Schumer (D., N.Y.) and Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D., Md.), maintained that Holder did not commit perjury.

"No, I don’t think there’s perjury. There’s been no prosecution or attempted prosecution of any journalist, so there can’t be perjury," Schumer said on NBC’s "Meet the Press." "The warrant is a tool to get information and I don’t think the two are contradictory."

Van Hollen echoed that explanation on "Fox News Sunday."

Along with Sen. Jack Reed (D., R.I.), Van Hollen noted there is no need for Holder to resign.

On ABC’s "Face the Nation," Reed said he did not believe Holder should step aside, but he should "fully explain to the American public and to the Congress what he did, what was his rationale."

"I’m more than happy to give him that opportunity to explain the obvious contradictions between his statements," Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.) told Bob Schieffer on "Face the Nation."

"But I also think that the attorney general has to ask himself the question, is he really able to effectively serve the president of the United States and the American people under the present circumstances," McCain said. "That’s a decision he’d have to make… I think it would be tough for him to answer the question whether he can still effectively serve the president of the United States."