In an interview with NBC's Pete Williams, Attorney General Eric Holder talks about some of the changes the DOJ might make to the way it investigates leaks.
Amid calls by some congressional Republicans for his resignation, Attorney General Eric Holder told NBC News Wednesday that he has no intentions of stepping down.
Holder has been embroiled in a furor over a Justice Department subpoena of Associated Press phone records and an investigation of leaks to Fox News correspondent James Rosen.
Holder told NBC he is uncomfortable with how some of the leak investigations have progressed. Although he approved some of the steps in the investigation, he said laws and regulations forced his hand and should be changed.
"I'm a little concerned that things have gotten a little out of whack ... I think we can do a better job than we have. We can reform those regulations, reform those guidelines to better reflect that balance,” he said.
When it comes to his future tenure Holder said, "There's some things that I want to do, some things I want to get done” before relinquishing the post he has held since February of 2009. “I've discussed that with the president. And once I have finished that, I'll sit down with him and we'll determine when it's time to make a transition to a new attorney general."
Asked, directly, if he would step down, he responded, "No, I have no intention of doing so now."
As for using the term “co-conspirator” in describing Rosen’s role in a leak investigation, Holder explained that the phrasing was necessary in order to get a search warrant.
"I don't like that, because it means that me as a government official, and who has great respect for the press, is in essence saying that the reporter who is doing his or her job, and doing that very important job, is somehow branded a criminal,” he said. “And I'm just not comfortable with that. And we're going to change it."
Holder told the House Judiciary Committee last month that he doubted it would “wise policy” to prosecute news media organizations for publishing classified information in the national security leaks case.
Holder also said in that testimony that "the focus should be on those people who break their oaths and put the American people at risk, not reporters who gather this information."
Holder said in the interview Wednesday that the Obama administration “will come up with ways in which notification can be given to the media ... and possibly involve on a more consistent basis judges as third-party arbiters."
That idea seems aligned with legislation that has been proposed by Sen. Charles Schumer, D- N.Y., and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.
NBC News' Tom Curry contributed to this report