- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 16, 2017

The chairmen of the House oversight and judiciary committees have formally requested an investigation from the Justice Department’s inspector general to see if any officials mishandled classified information in the wake of recent intelligence-related leaks.

Reps. Jason Chaffetz and Bob Goodlatte cited recent news articles on former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn “recounting potentially classified information.”

One case dealt with the Department of Justice’s possibly applying for a special warrant to intercept electronic bank records, and other reports cite U.S. intelligence’s monitoring talks Mr. Flynn had with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, the congressman wrote.

“Generally, collection activities by intelligence agencies are classified, as are the products that result from those activities,” they wrote to Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz this week. “Similarly, the Department of Justice’s reported application for and receipt of a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court warrant would likely be classified.”

“[W]e request that your office begin an immediate investigation into whether classified information was mishandled here,” they wrote.

Mr. Flynn was forced to resign this week after misleading the administration on his talks with Mr. Kislyak after November’s election.

Mr. Chaffetz, Utah Republican, chairs the House oversight committee and Mr. Goodlatte, Virginia Republican, chairs the House judiciary committee.

Rep. Elijah Cummings, ranking member on the oversight committee, said Mr. Chaffetz appears to be taking “marching orders” from President Trump.

The president tweeted Wednesday the “real scandal” is that the intelligence community is “illegally” giving out classified information “like candy.”

“Instead of investigating General Flynn’s lies to the vice president and the American people, as well as his troubling ties with Russia, the chairman chose to target those who brought them to light,” said Mr. Cummings, Maryland Democrat.

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