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Deputy A.G: No special attorney for leaks

June 6, 2012 at 7:34 PM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, June 6 (UPI) -- A top U.S. Justice Department official said an investigation into possible national security leaks by the White House doesn't warrant a special prosecutor.

During Deputy U.S. Attorney General James Cole's appearance Wednesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee on another matter, Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, asked him if a special prosecutor should be appointed to investigate a recent series of leaks that possibly emanated from the White House, Roll Call reported.

"I don't believe that it would be necessary in this case, no," Cole responded.

The deputy attorney general said, however, it is illegal for a government employee to provide classified information to reporters.

"It troubles me that anybody who has classified information, and lawfully has it, would then disclose it in violation of their duties to keep that classified information secret," Cole said.

Cole did not say whether the Justice Department will investigate the leaks.

Roll Call said National Intelligence Director James Clapper will meet with leaders of the House and Senate Intelligence committees Thursday to discussion the leak of classified information Republicans contend was an attempt by the administration to burnish the Democratic president's reputation on national security matters during a re-election year.

Cornyn's pursuit of the leaks issue with Cole came the day after fellow Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona called for an investigation into whether the White House was responsible for national security leaks. McCain said he wants the Armed Services Committee to hold hearings and wants a special prosecutor named.

It wasn't known whether committee Chairman Carl Levin, D-Mich., would scheduled the hearings, the Washington publication said.

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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