Entries in Leaks (2)


Attorney General Appoints Federal Prosecutors for Leak Investigations

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) -- Attorney General Eric Holder ordered two federal prosecutors Friday night to open criminal investigations into a series of national security leaks to the news media.

Holder appointed Ron Machen, the U.S. attorney for the District of Colombia, and Rod Rosenstein to lead the criminal investigations into recent leaks concerning a disrupted bomb plot by al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and a New York Times story about President Obama ordering cyber-attacks against Iran with the Stuxnet computer worm.

“These two highly-respected and experienced prosecutors will be directing separate investigations currently being conducted by the FBI,” Holder said in a statement.  “I have every confidence in their abilities to doggedly follow the facts and the evidence in the pursuit of justice, wherever it leads.”

The appointment of the prosecutors comes days after the chairmen and ranking members of the Congressional Intelligence Committees and other members of Congress expressed outrage over the recent leaks.  Some members were calling for Holder to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the leaks, but Holder’s move may neutralize those calls.

Earlier this week, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., took to the Senate floor and implied the leaks were released by the White House for political purposes.

“A really disturbing aspect of this is that one could draw the conclusion from reading these articles that it is an attempt to further the president’s political ambitions for the sake of his re-election at the expense of our national security,” McCain said on the Senate floor late Tuesday.

“The notion that my White House would purposefully release classified national security information is offensive. It’s wrong,” the president told reporters at the White House on Friday.

On Wednesday, White House press secretary Jay Carney bristled that McCain had alleged the leaks were coming from the White House.

“Any suggestion that this administration has authorized intentional leaks of classified information for political gain is grossly irresponsible,” Carney said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


John McCain: Leak Investigation Should Follow Evidence

ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP/GettyImages(WASHINGTON) -- While Sen. John McCain Friday ratcheted up his call for a special prosecutor to investigate leaks of classified intelligence, McCain’s office said the investigation should follow the evidence wherever it goes -- even if it leads to Congress.

“The investigation should go where the evidence takes it -- be that the White House, administration or Congress,” a McCain aide told ABC News.

Republicans have accused the White House of leaking the information purposefully in an effort to make the president look good, but White House officials would not be the only ones with access to the kind of classified information that was leaked to The New York Times and other media outlets over the last two months. Some members of Congress and a small group of senior Congressional staff would likely have access to the information as well.

The president Friday condemned the leaks and called the suggestion that the White House was behind them “offensive” -- a statement McCain said was not satisfactory.

“What the president did not unequivocally say today is that none of the classified or highly sensitive information recently leaked to the media came from the White House,” McCain said in a written statement Friday. “I continue to call on the president to immediately appoint a special counsel to fully investigate and, where necessary, prosecute these gravely serious breaches of our national security.”

McCain’s statement pointed out that the articles in question -- including recent New York Times stories on a covert U.S. cyber attack on Iran’s nuclear program and the “kill list” of terrorists to be targeted by drone strikes -- cited administration sources.

“The journalists themselves identify some of the sources for their articles as 'administration officials,' 'aides’ to the president,' 'members of the president’s national security team who were in the [White House Situation Room]' during key discussions, an official 'who requested anonymity to speak about what is still a classified program,' and 'current … American officials',” McCain said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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