Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Sunday proposed a new bipartisan “Gang of Eight” to draft a bill to create guidelines for future investigations of media leaks by the government.
“I proposed along with [Sen.] Lindsey Graham [R-S.C.], we’ll be announcing that we have four Democrats, four Republicans, another Gang of Eight,” said Schumer on CBS’s Face the Nation. “I love these gangs of eight I guess.”
The announcement comes as the Department of Justice (DOJ) has been under fire for searching a Fox News reporter’s phone calls and private emails to trace the source of a leak in the State Department. In a separate leak probe, the DOJ secretly seized months of phone records from Associated Press employees.
Schumer said the recent DOJ controversies highlighted the need to have rules in place for future leak investigations.
“If we can set up these rules, I think we’ll avoid the morass,” he said. “You always need set rules and an independent arbiter. You have neither now.”
Schumer said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) assured him that the bill would be brought to the floor of the upper chamber quickly for a vote.
Earlier this month, in response to criticism over the DOJ, the White House asked Schumer to reintroduce a media shield law.
That bill would allow media groups to challenge subpoenas of phone records and offer additional protections for confidential sources.