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Holder: I’ve ordered a probe of “outrageous” IRS targeting

In a press conference on Tuesday, Attorney General Eric Holder took questions on two big controversies surrounding the Obama Administration, the IRS's targeting of conservative groups and the Department of Justice's decision to subpoena phone records from the Associated Press.

The subpoena was the result of an investigation into leaked details of a CIA operation in Yemen in 2012. In a statement earlier on Tuesday, a DOJ official said that Holder had recused himself from the decision to subpoena the records early on in the investigation to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest. The decision was ultimately made by Deputy Attorney General James Cole.

"As the Attorney General testified in June 2012, he was interviewed by the FBI in connection with the investigation into the unauthorized disclosure of classified information," a DOJ official said, TPMreports. "To avoid any potential appearance of a conflict of interest, the Attorney General recused himself from this matter."

Holder reiterated this in the press conference, saying that though he was not involved in the decision, he is "confident" that Cole "followed all of the appropriate regulations."

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