Holder Faces Another Decision on Forcing a Reporter to Testify
By The New York Times | December 12, 2021 3:17 pm

With Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. facing a deadline over whether to force a reporter for The New York Times to reveal his sources, Preet Bharara, the United States attorney in Manhattan, has recommended that Mr. Holder approve a subpoena for another journalist, a reporter for CBS News.

Mr. Bharara wants to force Richard Bonin, a longtime producer for “60 Minutes,” to testify next month at a terrorism trial over bombings by Al Qaeda in 1998. One of the two defendants, Khaled al-Fawwaz, is accused of running Al Qaeda’s media office in London. Prosecutors want Mr. Bonin to discuss his dealings with the group’s media office in an unsuccessful effort to interview Osama bin Laden in 1998, officials and others briefed on the case said.

No subpoena has been issued, but the recommendation comes at a difficult time for Mr. Holder, who has faced criticism from free-press groups for repeatedly issuing subpoenas to journalists. He said recently that his biggest regret was his handling of a subpoena for James Rosen, a reporter for Fox News whom the Justice Department described as a criminal co-conspirator for talking to a government official about classified information. Criticism over that case and others prompted the Justice Department to rewrite its rules for issuing subpoenas to journalists.

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