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James Rosen is a lot of things, but a criminal co-conspirator he is not,” Mr. Graham said. “We’re beginning to criminalize journalism, and I think that should worry us all.”

Mr. Graham also called for a special counsel to investigate the IRS targeting of conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status.

The president said Thursday that he was “troubled by the possibility that leak investigations may chill the investigative journalism that holds government accountable.”