Chaffetz asks DOJ inspector general to investigate Flynn leaks

Chaffetz asks DOJ inspector general to investigate Flynn leaks
© Greg Nash

House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Jason ChaffetzJason ChaffetzLawmakers contemplate a tough political sell: Raising their pay Top Utah paper knocks Chaffetz as he mulls run for governor: ‘His political career should be over’ Boehner working on memoir: report MORE (R-Utah) on Wednesday asked the Department of Justice inspector general to investigate the intelligence leaks that led to the ousting of national security adviser Michael Flynn.

"Over the last several days, there have been a series of news articles recounting potentially classified national security information," Chaffetz wrote in a letter, also signed by the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Bob GoodlatteRobert (Bob) William GoodlatteTop Republican releases full transcript of Bruce Ohr interview It’s time for Congress to pass an anti-cruelty statute DOJ opinion will help protect kids from dangers of online gambling MORE (R-Va.).

"We have serious concerns about the potential protection of classified information here. ... The release of classified information can, by definition, have grave effects on national security. In light of this, we request that your office begin an immediate investigation into whether classified information was mishandled here," the lawmakers wrote.

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Anonymous officials told news outlets that Flynn had spoken with the Russian ambassador about sanctions before Trump was sworn into office and misled White House officials including Vice President Pence about their conversations. He resigned on Monday. 

In the wake of his resignation, Trump has trained his focus on the leaks, writing on Twitter: "The real scandal here is that classified information is illegally given out by 'intelligence' like candy. Very un-American!"

"No matter where you are on the political spectrum, you cannot have classified information migrating out into a nonclassified setting," Chaffetz said during an interview with Fox News on Wednesday.

"Same with Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTrump rips Krugman, NYT after columnist writes GOP no longer believes in American values Klobuchar jokes to Cuomo: 'I feel you creeping over my shoulder' but 'not in a Trumpian manner' Dems seek to rein in calls for impeachment MORE, same with Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpRussia's election interference is a problem for the GOP Pence to pitch trade deal during trip to Michigan: report Iran oil minister: US made 'bad mistake' in ending sanctions waivers MORE, and same with those in the intelligence world or at the Department of Justice who get to see this information," the lawmaker said. "They just can’t hand it out like candy and favors to those in the news media. Can't do it."

Chaffetz said the Oversight Committee won't probe the circumstances surrounding Flynn.