- Man arrested in car bomb plot at Kansas airport
- Prison inmates take up ‘Knockout’ game, target female officers
- U.S. Army hails success with drone-shooting laser
- John Kerry: Israel-Palestinian peace deal paved for April
- India diplomat who touts women’s rights busted for $3 wage to nanny
- MSNBC host Ed Schultz paid $252K by unions in 2012-2013
- Korean War memorial ordered to take down Christian cross
- Billy Graham near death, ‘close to going home to be with the Lord’
- SeaTac, Wash.: City’s new $15 minimum wage heads to court
- Obama mulls support for Islamists in Syria, with conditions
Holder taps two federal prosecutors to investigate leaks
Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. late Friday afternoon appointed two U.S. attorneys to lead separate investigations into unauthorized leaks of classified information, giving the two prosecutors full latitude to follow all potential leads within the executive and legislative branches of government.
Ronald Machen, the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, and Rod Rosenstein, the U.S. attorney for the District of Maryland, will work with the FBI and lead a pair of criminal investigations into the leaks.
"I have every confidence in their abilities to doggedly follow the facts and the evidence in the pursuit of justice where it leads," Mr. Holder said.
In appointing Mr. Machen and Mr. Rosenstein, the attorney general made clear that they are fully authorized to prosecute criminal violations as a result of their investigation, consult with members of the intelligence community and follow all investigative leads regardless of where they originate.
Mr. Holder said he has notified members of Congress and said he plans to brief members of the Judiciary and Intelligence Committees "as appropriate."
"The unauthorized disclosure of classified information can compromise the security of this country and all Americans, and it will not be tolerated," Mr. 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."
President Obama defiantly defended himself Friday from a barrage of criticism for a series of national security leaks, most recently a report in the New York Times about U.S. cyber attacks on Iranian computers that run its nuclear enrichment facilities.
During a press conference with reporters, Mr. Obama denied the leaks were intentional and deliberately orchestrated to help boost his foreign policy bona fides ahead of the November election.
"The notion that my White House would purposely release classified national security information if offensive," he told reporters. "It's wrong."
Critics led by Sen. John McCain, a Republican from Arizona who lost to Mr. Obama in 2008, have called the leaks a serious security breach and unprecedented in recent memory. Mr. McCain blames the Obama administration for leaking the information to bolster Mr. Obama's reputation as a hands-on, decisive leader.
Mr. Obama pointedly called his critics out Friday, saying they "need to have a better sense of how I approach this office and how the people around me here approach this office."
''We're dealing with issues that can touch on the safety and security of the American people, our families or our military personnel or our allies, and so we don't play with that,'' he said.
The president said his administration has ''zero tolerance'' for such leaks and pledged to launch a thorough international administration investigation into the matter.
Friday afternoon, Mr. Holder announced the appointment of the two U.S. attorneys.
''We have mechanisms in place where if we can root out folks who have leaked, they will suffer consequences,'' Mr. Obama said during the press conference. ''In some cases, it's criminal. These are criminal acts when they release information like this. And we will conduct thorough investigations, as we have in the past.''
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Susan Crabtree is an award-winning investigative reporter with more than 15 years of reporting experience in Washington, D.C. Her reporting about bribery, corruption and conflict-of-interest issues on Capitol Hill has led to several FBI and ethics investigations, as well as consequences for members within their caucuses and at the ballot box. Susan can be reached at email@example.com.
- GOP senators want IG probe of Sebelius' 'Obamacare' fundraising
- Teaming up with Christie, Obama says Jersey shore 'back in business'
- No Moore: Obama flubs name of Oklahoma city devastated by tornado, calls it 'Monroe'
- Obama to Okla. tornado victims: 'We have got your back'
- Amid his own challenges, Obama calls on Navy grads to hold themselves accountable
Latest Blog Entries
By Mangosuthu Buthelezi
Memories of a long brotherhood tempered in common struggle
- U.S. Army hails success with drone-shooting laser
- U.S. Navy-China showdown: Chinese try to halt U.S. cruiser in international waters
- Obama birther theories float as Hawaii health director killed in crash
- Billy Graham near death, close to going home to be with the Lord
- PRUDEN: The last living witnesses; they wore the yellow star and remember the Nazi terror
- Obama's Afghanistan experts stumped on U.S. death toll, war costs during hearing
- House budget bargain faces Senate filibuster; Republicans line up to oppose
- NAPOLITANO: A conspiracy so vast
- Dr. Ben Carson disavows efforts at presidential draft
- STEVENS: Resisting the seduction of housing speculation
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topics will include politics, religion, race, culture, and anything else that needs to be discussed...
Our Choice: Individual responsibility and self-government or the abandonment of the American Revolution
A stat-head’s outlook, direct from his worn in couch cushion.
John Glaser turns his pen toward foreign policy and international relations around the world
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow