Sen. John McCain said Wednesday that the administration is slow-walking its own internal investigation into intelligence leaks by planning so many interviews that it could take months or even years to finish it — pushing it well past this year’s elections.
Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. has rejected Republicans’ calls to name a special counsel to conduct the investigation and instead tapped two U.S. attorneys, who The Washington Post reported last month have already interviewed more than 100 people, which the paper said was just the start.
But Mr. McCain, the top Republican on the Armed Services Committee who has led several major congressional investigations, said that approach doesn’t make sense when the intelligence leaks reported in the press were attributed to a select group of top administration officials.
In one case, a New York Times reporter specifically said he was invited into the presidential suite at a hotel where President Obama was staying and, with most of the president’s national security staff present, he was able to review classified evidence of Iran’s nuclear program. Mr. McCain said reports like that should narrow down the investigation.
“We can’t expect the administration to investigate itself impartially in the midst of an election on a matter as highly sensitive and damaging as this leaks case, especially when those responsible could themselves be members of the administration,” Mr. McCain said.