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Schiff supports using federal prosecutors for leaks investigation

June 12, 2012
(Tim Berger/Staff…)

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) today released a statement supporting the appointment of two top federal prosecutors to investigate recent leaks of classified intelligence that prompted several high-profile news stories.

Schiff – himself a former federal prosecutor and member of the House Intelligence Committee – said in his statement that appointing U.S. Attys. Ronald C. Machen Jr and Rod J. Rosensteinto investigate the leaks was a more prudent step than going the route of a special prosecutor, a move some Republicans have been pushing for.

Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. appointed the prosecutors late Friday.

The White House has been heavily criticized by conservatives who say President Obama's campaign has been leaking information to support news stories that tout his national and global security efforts.

Earlier this year, the New York Times printed detailed accounts of cyber warfare, the slaying of Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and alleged “kill lists” maintained for targeting foreign terrorists.

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Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, has warned that the recent leaks could endanger American lives and “undermine America’s national security.”

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has called for a special prosecutor to investigate leaks, but Schiff today came down on the side of those who argue that those assignments are costly and tend to become “fishing investigations.”

Schiff said he had “every confidence” in Machen and Rosenstein, and that they should be given wide latitude to take their investigation wherever it leads.

“Unless there is evidence of obstruction, the U.S. attorneys should be given the time and latitude to do their jobs and bring charges against any responsible parties,” Schiff said.

L.A. TIMES/FULL COVERAGE:

Holder appoints U.S. attorneys to head criminal probes into leaks

Bipartisan congressional group calls for legislative action on leaks

Eric Holder testifies to Senate on leaks investigation

-- Jason Wells, Times Community News, with contributions from Richard A. Serrano and Christi Parsons of the Los Angeles Times

Twitter: @JasonBretWells and on Google+

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