Magazine | June 17, 2013, Issue

Investigation into the AP/James Rosen Matter

Department of Justice


Investigation into the AP/James Rosen Matter


Interview with Subject conducted 5/29/13 in Conference Room H-0889, Department of Justice.

Present: Investigator and Person of Interest [Name Redacted]

Interview begins 11:03 a.m.


INTERVIEWER: Good morning, Sir. Please state your name for the record.


INTERVIEWER: And before we begin the questions, I’d like to clarify: You are here of your own volition, in an entirely voluntary capacity, is that correct, Sir?

PERSON OF INTEREST: You should know, Eric!


INTERVIEWER: Right, right. I see your point. You’re very astute, Eric.

PERSON OF INTEREST: That’s easy for you to say!

INTERVIEWER: Okay, okay. We could sit here for hours and make each other laugh, but our job is to get to the bottom of this.

PERSON OF INTEREST: Yes, Eric, as you know, I’ve promised members of Congress and the press a pretty thorough investigation into exactly how it came to be that the Department of Justice spied on members of the press, and what’s crucial is that every single person involved in this matter is interviewed and investigated completely. And to show my total commitment to getting to the bottom of this, I’m conducting this interview personally.

INTERVIEWER: Which is why I’m interviewing you right now.


INTERVIEWER: Because I am you.


INTERVIEWER: Have you noticed that some DOJ employees are peering into the conference room? I think it must be a disturbing sight, to see the attorney general talking to himself.

PERSON OF INTEREST: I think they’ll appreciate my zeal for the truth.

INTERVIEWER: Perhaps if you didn’t keep hopping back and forth between chairs it would be less alarming.

PERSON OF INTEREST: Look, in order for this investigation to really satisfy everyone, it’s got to have the right optics. Which is why I’m the one leading the investigation into myself. I mean, hey, I’m the attorney general. When I ask a question, I expect a truthful answer, even from the attorney general.

INTERVIEWER: Okay, then. Here goes. At what point did you authorize the wiretap and further surveillance on Fox News reporter James Rosen?

PERSON OF INTEREST: I don’t recall.

INTERVIEWER: Oh come on! That’s an easy one!

PERSON OF INTEREST: Don’t raise your voice with me. I’m the attorney general of the United States.


PERSON OF INTEREST: Let’s not quibble. Just put down: “Subject does not recall exact date, seems truthful.” Next question.

#page#INTERVIEWER: In your initial requests for wiretap authorization against the AP reporters, you specifically referenced national-security concerns. What other requests have you made for surveillance on U.S. citizens based on national-security concerns?



PERSON OF INTEREST: Yeah, that looks bad, doesn’t it? Just put down, “Subject squinted into middle distance and stroked chin thoughtfully, then suggested that there were several other cases, but all of them were classified.” Put that down.

INTERVIEWER: But you didn’t say that.

PERSON OF INTEREST: Next question.


PERSON OF INTEREST: Next question.

INTERVIEWER: Where did the request come from to investigate James Rosen?

PERSON OF INTEREST: Oh, God. Who can keep track of these things! My wife, maybe? She might have said something. Or, you know, it might have been one of the interns who made the suggestion during our lunchtime get-togethers. Truly hard to remember.

INTERVIEWER: This is hard to believe.

PERSON OF INTEREST: I don’t recall. Why is that so hard to believe? I have a hard time remembering why half the stuff on my DVR is on there. There’s just so much going on at any time. You know, it might have come to me in a dream. I’ll check my dream journal.

INTERVIEWER: You do realize, don’t you, that if you actually do keep a dream journal, it’s supposed to be submitted to counsel as evidence?

PERSON OF INTEREST: Damn. Right. Forget the dream journal. Next question.

INTERVIEWER: Did you ever speak to the president of the United States about these investigations?

PERSON OF INTEREST: Never. Not once. Never.

INTERVIEWER: You’re sure?


INTERVIEWER: One hundred percent?

PERSON OF INTEREST: Utterly. I’m telling you, I never once spoke to the president about these investigations. Never. Never ever. Not once.

INTERVIEWER: Then maybe you could explain this telephone-call memo, dated one week after the James Rosen surveillance, in which you — and that’s your handwriting, Sir, and I know it’s yours because it’s also mine — jotted down the following: “spoke to POTUS in re: press wiretaps and surveillance.”


[Sounds of scuffle. Sounds of strangulation.]

INTERVIEWER: Sir! Please! You’re choking me. Us. You’re choking yourself!


INTERVIEWER: People are watching, Sir! They’re summoning security!

PERSON OF INTEREST: Fine! It’ll just make this look all the more authentic. I wouldn’t bother to choke myself if I wasn’t giving myself a pretty tough investigation.

INTERVIEWER: That’s true, Sir.

PERSON OF INTEREST: Now give me that piece of paper.

INTERVIEWER: Can’t do it, Sir.

PERSON OF INTEREST: Give it to me!

INTERVIEWER: You’re squeezing my neck pretty hard, Sir. I’m starting to see stars. I think I may pass out anytime. I think I –

[Sounds of door being kicked in. Sounds of paramedic activity.]


Rob Long — Rob Long, Hollywood writer and producer, started his career as a screenwriter for the TV show Cheers. He is a regular writer for National Review, Newsweek International, and the Los ...

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Department of Justice OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT Investigation into the AP/James Rosen Matter   Interview with Subject conducted 5/29/13 in Conference Room H-0889, Department of Justice. Present: Investigator and Person of Interest [Name Redacted] Interview begins 11:03 a.m.   INTERVIEWER: ...

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