As Kaylin just reported, Attorney General Eric Holder just told congressmen on the House Judiciary Committee that Deputy Attorney General James Cole authorized the subpoena of AP phone records.
Cole, it seems, is being positioned to take the blame for the scandal. Yesterday, the AP reported that it received a letter from Cole this week defending the subpoena:
The AP revealed Monday that federal agents had collected two months of telephone records for some of its reporters and editors without notifying it of the subpoena. In a letter to the news service’s president, Gary Pruitt, Deputy Attorney General James Cole said the Justice Department had balanced the public’s right to know with national security.
“The subpoenas were limited to a reasonable period of time and did not seek the content of any calls,” Cole wrote.
Meanwhile Holder yesterday claimed he recused himself from the matter of the AP subpoena and left the ultimate decision to Cole. Several voices, on both the right and the left have called for Holder to resign. But Holder seems to have successfully done a successful CYA with the recusal. Cole is being made to own this; expect him to take the fall…and Holder to remain in charge of the Department of Justice.
UPDATE: Under questioning from Rep. Tom Marino, Eric Holder just admitted that, even though he’d allegedly recused himself, there was no paper trail he could provide as evidence. Really? The DOJ lets the nation’s most powerful lawyer be recused on an issue of this magnitude without even having to fill out a form? This entire thing stinks.