Attorney General Eric Holder said Tuesday that he'd recused himself from the national security leak investigation in which prosecutors obtained the phone records of Associated Press journalists – but that he's already started a fresh inquiry into the IRS scrutiny of conservative political groups.
The comments were the first from Holder or the Justice Department on the twin Obama administration scandals that have burst through in recent days. And they come as the Justice Department, and Holder himself, find themselves under increasing pressure.
That pressure is likely to grow Wednesday, when the attorney general arrives on Capitol Hill for previously scheduled hearings that have now been reoriented to address the recent inquiries.
Holder called the original story that sparked the probe "a very, very serious leak," but revealed Tuesday that he had recused himself from the investigation because he had been interviewed by the FBI as part of initial inquiry.