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Fox News reporter Wendell Goler on Wednesday wanted to know why it is necessary to maintain a firewall between the Department of Justice and the White House, but Jay Carney didn't think it was a very good question.
Goler was questioning the White House press secretary on the Department of Justice's subpoena of Associated Press phone records. First, he asked Carney a general question on the justification for the subpoena.
The White House doesn't have any "independent insight" into a criminal investigation, Carney said.
Then Goler, Fox's senior White House and foreign affairs correspondent, wondered if Obama spoke to Attorney General Eric Holder about the investigation at a Wednesday morning event to honor fallen law enforcement officials.
Carney said he wasn't sure but assumed the firewall between the White House and DOJ "is always maintained."
"Walk me through why it's necessary to maintain that firewall," Goler responded, drawing a look of surprise from Carney.
"Seriously?" Carney said, laughing. "It is entirely appropriate that criminal investigations conducted by the Department of Justice be independent of the White House — of any White House."