House committee wants to interview administration officials on leaks

The Justice Department has appointed two U.S. attorneys to investigate the leaks, but Republicans in Congress have expressed skepticism that the attorneys will be able to operate independently investigating the Obama administration.

Smith’s request to interview administration officials is one of several efforts in Congress to delve into the leaks, which include recent stories about an U.S. cyberattack on Iran, a terrorist “kill list” and a double agent in Yemen.

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Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey are coming to Capitol Hill before the House Armed Services Committee to testify in a closed-door hearing next week on the leaks, and the Senate Armed Services and Intelligence committees have talked about a joint hearing.

The House and Senate Intelligence committees are also working on legislation to try and crack down on classified intelligence leaks.

The White House declined to comment on the letter. An administration official said the White House would respond to the letter at the appropriate time.

The other officials Smith asked to be made available for interviews are Vice President Biden’s National Security Adviser Antony Blinken, Deputy National Security Adviser Denis McDonough, Director for Counterterrorism Audrey Tomason, Deputy National Security Adviser John Brennan and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.

Smith held a hearing on the national security leaks Wednesday, where he and ranking member John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.) discussed the possibility of subpoenas.

Smith said that he, Conyers and Judiciary Crime subcommittee Chairman James Sensenbrenner Jr. (R-Wis.) “agreed to exercise the committee’s investigative capacities.”