Afternoon Reading List 05.20.13

Congratulations, you’ve made it this far through Monday. Now here is some afternoon reading to get you through the rest of the day.

Obama Left in the Dark — The Hill’s Jonathan Easley reports that White House Press Sec. Jay Carney said today that though White House officials were notified of an inspector general report on the IRS by the Treasury Department, President Obama was not. Carney said he supports the decision of White House counsel Kathryn Ruemmler’s decision not to disclose the report, saying it would have been inappropriate for the President to be involved in an ongoing investigation, as conclusions often change in the final stages of inspector general reports.

Prosecuting the Press — Politico’s Josh Gerstein examines Attorney General Eric Holder’s stance on prosecuting journalists. Though Holder rejected the idea in last week’s hearing, Gerstein explains that the Justice Department has used the possibility of prosecution to obtain warrants. Citing the case of Fox News’ James Rosen, reported in the WaPo article above, the piece looks at how the Privacy Protection Act of 1980 has been interpreted and which protocols were followed and which were overstepped.

DOJ Deja Vu — The DOJ subpoena is being labeled a major scandal for the Obama administration, but as WaPo’s Ann Marimow reports, it’s not the first time this happened. The piece tells the story of the eerily similar tracking a few years ago of Fox News reporter James Rosen by the Justice Department, which was investigating leaks about North Korea in 2009. In addition to phone records, the DOJ made use of security badge access records to track when Rosen came and went to the State Department as well as his personal emails.

IRS Not Alone in Conservative Targeting  Apparently, the IRS wasn’t the only government agency targeting conservative groups. According to the story by The Daily Caller’s Michael Bastasch, the EPA made acquisition of government records more difficult for conservative groups while giving preferential treatment to environmental groups. Republican lawmakers are now launching an investigation into the claims.