The White House said Friday it would follow the same standards of justice as former Attorney General Eric Holder for how they would work with journalists.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki reacted to a CNN report revealing that the Justice Department under former President Donald Trump obtained phone records of their Pentagon reporter Barbara Starr.
At the White House press briefing Friday afternoon, Psaki reminded reporters that the actions took place under Trump’s administration, not after President Joe Biden took office.
“They certainly intend to use the Holder model as their model, not the model of the last several years,” Psaki said, referring to the Justice Department under former President Barack Obama.
Holder was also caught spying on journalists from the Associated Press and Fox News and used the Espionage Act to prosecute more government workers and contractors than all previous attorneys general combined. Holder even named Fox News reporter James Rosen as a co-conspirator to commit espionage in a leak case.
When Holder announced his decision to resign, the Executive Director of the Freedom of the Press foundation described him as the “worst Attorney General for the press in a generation.”
But Psaki refused to acknowledge Holder’s record of spying on reporters and cracking down on leaks, and would only refer questions about it to the Justice Department.
“We are not going to follow the Barr model and I would point you to our Department of Justice to how they will approach that issue,” Psaki replied.