Friday, 17 May 2013

Obama defends AP phone records seizure

US President Barack Obama has defended the seizure of phone records of Associated Press news agency by the Department of Justice.

“I have complete confidence in Eric Holder,” Obama said Thursday during a press conference with the Turkish Prime Minister in Washington, “He does his job with integrity and I expect he will continue to do so.”

The Attorney General Eric Holder has come under scrutiny for the Justice Department’s investigation of AP journalists having to do with a top-secret CIA operation in Yemen to stop a bomb plot. The AP wrote a story about it in May 2012.

US authorities seized records of several home phones and cell phones of AP and its journalists without prior notice.

Some Republicans, including Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus, have called for Holder’s resignation.

US Attorney General Eric Holder has defended the move as necessary but claimed he was not aware of the order to take hold of the phone records. Critics have denounced the seizure as a gross violation of press freedom.

Critics have been tossing around words like “Nixonian” about the Justice Department’s decision to seize two months of phone records from the journalists.