Attorney General Eric Holder
Mr Holder’s comments came shortly before it was revealed he had approved a search warrant application calling Fox News journalist James Rosen a ‘probable co-conspirator in a leak investigation’, reports CBS.
The Attorney General had told the House Judiciary Committee on 15 May that potential prosecution of the press was not something he had ‘ever been involved in’.
Virginia Republican Bob Goodlatte - the House Judiciary Committee chairman - had later asked if Mr Holder ‘had something to hide’ when the Justice Department said at no time before or after seeking the search warrant have prosecutors sought approval to bring charges against the reporter.
Mr Goodlatte said: ‘By having a subordinate send this response rather than Attorney General Holder himself, this response begs the question of whether Holder has something to hide. He can't outsource the responsibility for his actions to lower level staff - the buck stops with him.’
Several Republicans have reportedly said that they expect Mr Holder to respond personally by tomorrow.