Grassley calls for select committee to be appointed for Justice probe

The top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee has called for a select committee to probe the Justice Department’s handling of its investigation into a series of national security leaks.

“I think it’s so bad, we need a select committee to look into how the Justice Department can be doing this,” Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) told The Hill on Tuesday.

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The Associated Press on Monday revealed that Justice has secretly subpoenaed two months of its employees’ phone records in search of the source of the leaks. Justice defended its decision on Tuesday as it was criticized by lawmakers in both parties.

Grassley pushed last year for an independent special counsel to be appointed by the DOJ to investigate the leaks. Attorney General Eric Holder instead appointed two U.S. attorneys to probe the matter.

On Tuesday, Holder said that he had recused himself from the investigation because he was interviewed as part of the probe, which has conducted more than 550 interviews with people suspected of being connected to the leaks, according to Deputy Attorney General James Cole.

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) introduced a nonbinding resolution last year that expressed the sense of the Senate that an outside special counsel should be appointed for this exact reason.

On Tuesday, McCain said that it was still too early to decide whether he would be offering a similar resolution in an attempt to pressure the DOJ to bring aboard an outside counsel.

“I want to see what the details of it are first, as to why they did it and what their rationale was, and what they were targeting. I just need to know that,” he said. “For me to rush to a judgment without knowing all of the facts is just not appropriate.”

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