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“I will simply say that we have followed the facts of the law in making our prosecutive determinations and making our investigatory decisions,” Mr. Holder said. “This is an administration — this is a Justice Department that I have run and I am proud of.”

Rep. James Sensenbrenner, an architect of the Patriot Act, asked Mr. Holder why he isn’t pursing a prosecution of Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper for perjury for his testimony to a Senate committee last year denying that U.S. intelligence agencies were gathering massive amounts of data about Americans’ electronic communications.

“What more do you need besides an admission from Gen. Clapper that he lied?” Mr. Sensenbrenner, Wisconsin Republican, asked referring to Mr. Clapper’s later admission that his remark was “the least untruthful” answer he could give.

Mr. Holder declined to say whether the Justice Department is pursuing an investigation, and Mr. Sensenbrenner said the department’s inaction raises doubts about whether Congress will try to pass any new intelligence bills.