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CBS Spotlights Perjury Investigation, 'Drumbeat' for Eric Holder to Quit; ABC, NBC Skip

Wednesday's CBS This Morning zeroed in on the House Judiciary Committee's inquiry into whether Attorney General Eric Holder lied under oath during his testimony regarding the Justice Department's controversial investigation of journalists. Jan Crawford's two-and-a-half minute report on the congressional investigation into Holder stood out as the only coverage on the Big Three networks on their Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning newscasts.

Crawford underlined that "conservative and liberal voices" are clamoring for Holder's resignation in the wake of the questionable surveillance of the Associated Press and Fox News' James Rosen. She also asserted that "everyone in Washington is talking about is whether...a survivor, like Eric Holder, gets drummed out."

Anchor Charlie Rose noted during his lead-in for the correspondent's report that "Attorney General Eric Holder is facing new scrutiny this morning. It involves his role in secretly monitoring journalists. CBS News has confirmed the House is investigating whether Holder lied under oath." Crawford added that "we're really seeing, kind of, what is a drumbeat of criticism, and it's all saying Eric Holder needs to go."

The CBS journalist first played a clip of the attorney general's May 15, 2013 denial – that "with regard to the potential prosecution of the press for the disclosure of material, that is not something that I've ever been involved in or heard of, or would think would be a wise policy." She continued that a "Justice Department statement, released nine days after Holder's testimony, shows he was involved in...approving a search warrant for personal e-mails and cell phone records of Fox News reporter James Rosen....The warrant authorizing the search labeled Rosen as a potential criminal. Even Democrats were critical."

Crawford later pointed out that "Holder's approval of the Rosen search triggered calls from conservative and liberal voices for Holder to resign....But the one thing Holder has been able to count on: the support of the President." She also spotlighted how the top law enforcement official is "now looking into how the Justice Department handles these leak investigations, and critics say...that is just a terrible idea, that the attorney general can't investigate himself."

Near the end of the segment, the correspondent noted that "Holder has survived controversies before, including, as you recall, when he had to back away from his vow to try a top 9/11 terrorist in a civilian court." She concluded, "But now, what everyone in Washington is talking about is whether the President is going to continue to support his attorney general, or even a survivor, like Eric Holder, gets drummed out."

Back on May 23, 2013, Crawford also gave the first full report on the Rosen investigation on the Big Three's morning and evening newscasts. She spotlighted the "unprecedented" surveillance of the Fox News journalist and how it "sparked a rare thing in Washington: bipartisan outrage over what some are calling 'Obama's war on journalism'."

The full transcript of Jan Crawford's report from Wednesday's CBS This Morning:

CHARLIE ROSE: Attorney General Eric Holder is facing new scrutiny this morning. It involves his role in secretly monitoring journalists. CBS News has confirmed the House is investigating whether Holder lied under oath.

Jan Crawford is in Washington. Jan, good morning.

JAN CRAWFORD: Well, good morning, Charlie; good morning, Norah. We're really seeing, kind of, what is a drumbeat of criticism, and it's all saying Eric Holder needs to go. This latest criticism, though, is focused on his congressional testimony about the Justice Department's crackdown on leaks to reporters.

[CBS News Graphic: "Attorney General Under Fire: Investigation Into Whether Holder Lied Under Oath"]

CRAWFORD (voice-over): Two weeks ago, Attorney General Eric Holder was answering questions about the Obama administration's controversial decision to seize two months of phone records from the Associated Press, when he told Congress-

ERIC HOLDER, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL (from congressional hearing): With regard to the potential prosecution of the press for the disclosure of material, that is not something that I've ever been involved in or heard of, or would think would be a wise policy.

CRAWFORD: But a Justice Department statement, released nine days after Holder's testimony, shows he was involved in a separate case – approving a search warrant for personal e-mails and cell phone records of Fox News reporter James Rosen. In the Rosen investigation, the FBI was trying to find out who inside the government leaked the reporter classified information on North Korea. The warrant authorizing the search labeled Rosen as a potential criminal. Even Democrats were critical.

SEN. CHARLES SCHUMER, (D), NEW YORK (from interview on CBS's "Face the Nation"): Which is more important: the government's desire to keep the information – to find out who leaked the information, or the robust freedom of the press?

CRAWFORD: Holder's approval of the Rosen search triggered calls from conservative and liberal voices for Holder to resign. The attorney general is reportedly stung by the leak controversy, and is doing some soul searching. Asked by reporters on Tuesday if he had any regrets, Holder said, 'I'm not satisfied, I'm not satisfied.'

But the one thing Holder has been able to count on: the support of the President.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA (from May 16, 2013 press conference): He's an outstanding attorney general, and I – does his job with integrity, and I expect he will continue to do so.

CRAWFORD (on-camera): Holder is now looking into how the Justice Department handles these leak investigations, and critics say – you know, that is just a terrible idea, that the attorney general can't investigate himself, and there should be this outside group doing that.

But Charlie and Norah, it is worth pointing out that Holder has survived controversies before, including, as you recall, when he had to back away from his vow to try a top 9/11 terrorist in a civilian court. But now, what everyone in Washington is talking about is whether the President is going to continue to support his attorney general, or even a survivor, like Eric Holder, gets drummed out.

ROSE: Jan, thank you.

— Matthew Balan is a news analyst at the Media Research Center. You can follow him on Twitter here.