Holder: No Written Recusal on AP Phone Record Grab

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DOJ Investigation of AP Phone Records

During his testimony before the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, Attorney General Eric Holder said there is nothing in writing verifying he actually recused himself from the Associated Press phone records seizure scandal.

“We looked,” Holder said when being questioned by Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA). “I don’t think there is anything in writing with regard to my recusal.”

Lofgren was asking Holder to explain why Deputy Attorney General James Cole had the authority to authorize the subpoena to secretly seize phone records of at least 20 AP reporters and editors over a two month period when federal code requires the Attorney General himself to sign off on such a subpoena.

Holder said that upon his recusal, the power was technically delegated to Cole, who became the acting Attorney General on this investigation.

But later in the hearing, during questioning from Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), Holder said he does not remember when he recused himself. “I’m not sure,” Holder answered when Smith asked him on which date he recused himself. “I think it was the beginning of – I don’t know exactly when.

Holder said the only person he told he told about his recusal was Cole. When Smith asked whether he did that “formally, or in writing,” Holder replied “no.”

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