Policy & Strategy

Holder appoints two prosecutors to probe national security leaks

Attorney General Eric Holder on Friday appointed two U.S.
Attorneys to head an investigation into a recent series of national security leaks.

Holder appointed U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Ronald
Machen Jr. and U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod Rosenstein to investigate
and criminally prosecute “possible unauthorized disclosures of classified

{mosads}“The unauthorized disclosure of classified information can
compromise the security of this country and all Americans, and it will not be
tolerated,” Holder said in a statement. “The Justice Department takes seriously
cases in which government employees and contractors entrusted with classified
information are suspected of willfully disclosing such classified information
to those not entitled to it, and we will do so in these cases as well.”

The announcement of the two prosecutors comes as Republicans
in Congress are calling for a special counsel to investigate the leaks independent
of the Obama administration.

Republicans say that they are concerned the sources of the
leaks could possibly influence an internal investigation.

Holder said he has notified the Judicial and Intelligence
Committees about the appointments and will continue to provide more
information, as appropriate.

One complication is that Machen is an Obama donor. Since 2000, Machen has donated $5,800 to Democrats or Democratic organizations — $4,350 went to Obama. All of the donations came before Machen was tapped by Obama to serve as U.S. attorney.

Republicans may seize on Machen’s donations as they push for an independent probe.

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) first called for a special
counsel on Tuesday, and he’s also accused the White House of leaking
information to help President Obama’s reelection chances.

Obama rejected McCain’s accusations in a news conference —
calling them “offensive” — and the White House has flatly rejected congressional
calls for a special counsel to investigate the leaks.

Rosenstein was appointed by former President George W. Bush and was among only three U.S. attorneys out of 93 nationwide that was kept on by Obama, according to a 2011 article by The Washington Post.

This article was updated at 9:40 p.m.

Tags Eric Holder John McCain

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