Published December 23, 2015
GOP senators are putting the pressure on Attorney General Eric Holder to appoint a special counsel to investigate whether the White House is responsible for national security leaks.
“The numerous national security leaks reportedly originating out of the executive branch in recent months have been stunning,” according to a copy of the letter to Holder, signed by more than 30 GOP senators and obtained by Fox News. “If there were ever a case requiring an outside special counsel with bipartisan acceptance and widespread public trust, this is it.”
Among the concerns about the leaks are recent news reports regarding the United States' drone attacks in the Middle East.
Their letter points out the recent New York Times story about the drone program and its list of human targets states the reporting involved interviews with "three dozen of [President Obama's] current and former advisers."
It suggests that Thomas Donilon, the national security adviser, is a likely source, in part because he was frequently cited in David Sanger’s book "Confront and Conceal."
“Mr. Donilon, in effect, is the hero of the book, as well as the commenter of record on events," wrote reviewer Tom Ricks.
The administration has strongly denied the leaks have come from the executive office.
"The notion that my White House would purposely release classified national security information is offensive. It's wrong," President Obama said earlier this month.
The letter to Holder comes the same week the GOP-led House is expected to vote on whether to hold him in contempt of Congress for failing to comply with subpoena requests to provide more documents regarding the Justice Department’s failed Fast and Furious gun-tracking operation.
The letter also states Holder’s decision to appoint two U.S. attorneys to investigate the apparent national security leaks doesn’t go far enough.
“You have an important role as a member of the president's national security team, and no administration should be expected to investigate itself impartially on such a grave and sensitive matter in the midst of an election,” states the letter signed by Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.
"This administration cannot be trusted to investigate itself," Sen John Cornyn, R-Texas, said during a Capitol Hill press conference Tuesday. "You cannot investigate yourself and not have a conflict of interest."