House Judiciary Committee 'very concerned' about Holder perjury

The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Virginia Congressman Bob Goodlatte, told Fox News that the committee was looking into the possibility that Attorney General Eric Holder committed perjury when he denied under oath he had anything to do with subpoenas for the records of journalists.

The Hill:

Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) said the committee was awaiting a response from Holder on a conflict between his statement and the fact that he had signed a search warrant for the reporter, James Rosen.

Asked on "Fox News Sunday" if he was investigating Holder for perjury, Goodlatte replied: "We certainly are very concerned about that."

He said the committee had sent Holder a letter asking for a response by Wednesday.

"So yes, it is fair to say we are investigating the conflict in his remarks," Goodlatte said. "Those remarks were made under oath. But we also think it's very important the attorney general be afforded the opportunity to respond."

"So we will wait to pass judgment on that until we see his response," he said.

Goodlatte criticized the Justice Department's handling of leak probes after it was found that the department seized phone records of the Associated Press and monitored Rosen's emails. 

The department has said its actions against Rosen adhered to its policies because it never sought to prosecute him, even though an affidavit said he may have aided and abetted a criminal leak.

"This is a very, very serious allegation and the Justice Department I think made the problem worse by claiming that because they were not prosecuting him there was no false information given [in the affidavit]," Goodlatte said.

Holder may skate on the perjury charge because of the ambivalence in the question asked him. He may have "technically" responded truthfully, although anyone with a reasonable level of objectivity knows he was lying.

Without a slam dunk case, it is likely the GOP will not pursue the AG on perjury charges. Republicans run the risk of making him look like a victim or a martyr if the public sees any prosection of Holder as motivated by partisanship.

But there is little doubt Holder is becoming a liability for Obama and it is possible he will resign - especially if the president sees him as a drag on his popularity.