Thirty-one GOP senators call for special counsel to investigate security leaks

June 27, 2012

By Alexander Bolton -The Hill

Thirty-one Republican senators have signed a letter calling on Attorney General Eric Holder to immediately appoint a special counsel to investigation national-security leaks from the executive branch.

“The numerous national-security leaks reportedly originating out of the executive branch in recent months have been stunning,” they wrote to Holder.

“If true, they reveal details of some of our nation’s most highly classified and sensitive military and intelligence matters, thereby risking our national security, as well as the lives of American citizens and our allies. If there were ever a case requiring an outside special counsel with bipartisan acceptance and widespread public trust, this is it,” they wrote.

The letter cites instances when President Obama and Vice President Biden demanded similar investigations while serving in the Senate.

The GOP lawmakers also single out National Security Adviser Thomas Donilon as a likely source of leaks in New York Times reporter David Sanger’s book,Confront and Conceal.

The senators argue that the administration should not be expected to investigate itself in the midst of an election year and that such a probe by the Justice Department “does not ensure a full and thorough investigation free of influence.”

They say an outside special counsel would ensure an investigation of leaks is free of political influence.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (S.C.) circulated the letter, which has been signed by Sens. John McCain (Ariz.), Mitch McConnell (Ky.), Lamar Alexander (Tenn.), Kelley Ayotte (N.H.), Roy Blunt (Mo.), John Barrasso (Wyo.), Saxby Chambliss (Ga.), Susan Collins (Maine), Jim DeMint (S.C.), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Marco Rubio (Fla.) and John Thune (S.D.), among other Republican senators.

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