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Screenshot of Attorney General Eric Holder press briefing on May 14, 2013
Today's hearing won't be the first time Attorney General Eric Holder
has been subjected to rough handling by Congress.
The Republican-led House Judiciary Committee can be expected to grill Attorney General Eric Holder in a few minutes. CSPAN-3 will be covering the hearing live here. Hard to tell what will get the most attention. It could be gathering phone records from the Associated Press to track down a leak or the IRS's special scrutiny of tea party groups applying for tax-exempt status. Some questions are also expected regarding the Boston Marathon bombing.

Holder said Tuesday that the Department of Justice has begun an investigation into the IRS's actions, which have sparked outrage over what is seen as targeting of conservative groups. But, as Joan McCarter reported today, the original revelations are getting some context. The only group that was denied tax-exempt status under the IRS scrutiny is a liberal one.

The committee chairman, Republican Rep. Bob Goodlatte of Virginia, said, "Members of the committee will ask pointed questions about the Justice Department's decision to obtain two months' worth of telephone records of reporters and editors for The Associated Press."

Holder early on recused himself in the AP investigation, but he nevertheless defended it at a press conference Tuesday, saying it was "a very serious leak, a very grave leak." The investigators sought to find the sources the AP used for a story published May 7, 2012, about a CIA operation in Yemen designed to stop the bombing of an airliner on the anniversary of the killing of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

Committee members also are likely to probe for information about information-sharing among intelligence agencies and why they failed to connect the dots ahead of time regarding the Boston Marathon bombers, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

Originally posted to Meteor Blades on Wed May 15, 2013 at 09:55 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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