U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is expected to meet this week with the Washington bureau chiefs of several major media outlets to discuss the Justice Department’s guidelines for dealing with journalists in leak investigations.
It’s not yet certain exactly when the meeting (or meetings) will take place, but a Justice Department official confirmed to The Huffington Post that it would be sometime over the next two days. Politico’s Mike Allen reported Wednesday morning that the DOJ began contacting bureau chiefs on Tuesday. The Huffington Post’s Washington bureau chief, Ryan Grim, also has been contacted.
The news of a meeting between Holder and the bureau chiefs comes amid widespread criticism from journalists and civil liberties advocates over the the DOJ’s seizure of Associated Press phone records and an accusation that Fox News reporter James Rosen could be part of a criminal conspiracy for his reporting.
The fact that Holder is meeting with the bureau chiefs is on the record, according to a network source, but the actual discussion is expected to be off the record. Media organizations will surely want such a newsworthy meeting with the attorney general to be on the record, and it remains to be seen if they will agree to meet under off-the-record ground rules.
Nanda Chitre, acting director of the DOJ’s public affairs office, confirmed to The Huffington Post that the meeting will be off the record.