WASHINGTON — A House Republican committee report concludes that Attorney General Eric Holder gave deceptive and misleading testimony in May when he told Congress he had never been involved in a potential prosecution of members of the news media.

The report says it is difficult to square Holder's testimony with his approval of a search warrant application in 2010 calling a Fox News journalist a probable co-conspirator in a leak investigation.

In his testimony in May, the attorney general said that with regard to a potential prosecution of the press, that is not something he had ever been involved in.

In a defense of Holder, the Justice Department says that at no time before or after seeking the search warrant have prosecutors sought approval to bring charges against the reporter.

"The report was produced on a purely partisan basis," said Justice spokesman Brian Fallon. "Its purported findings are contrary to the record and strongly disputed by many of the committee's own members."