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June 7th, 2012
12:41 PM ET

Sen. Cornyn (R-Texas) calls for special counsel on intelligence leaks, says issue is 'bigger than party or politics'

From CNN wires:

Washington (CNN) - Congressional leaders on intelligence issues will meet Thursday with Director of National Intelligence James Clapper on apparent leaks of classified information involving a cyberwarfare program against Iran.

The meeting comes amid bipartisan outrage over a report in The New York Times last week that provided classified details of what it described as a U.S cyberattack targeting Iran's nuclear centrifuge program.

Some Republicans led by veteran Sen. John McCain of Arizona alleged that the White House must be knowingly involved because of the nature of the leaked information. The White House rejected the accusations.

On Wednesday, a U.S. official said on condition of not being identified that the FBI was investigating the leaks. FBI spokesman Paul Bresson had no comment.

The White House says it is grossly irresponsible to even suggest that the administration would leak classified information for political gain. And in a rare display of bipartisanship, leaders of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees warned the leaks threaten to do imminent and irreparable damage to our national security.

Armed Services Committee member Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) talks with Soledad this morning on "Starting Point" and says a special counsel needs to be appointed to investigate the matter.

"This is not a partisan issue," Cornyn says. "The chair of the intelligence committee, Senator Feinstein, said this is the worst leaking she's seen in her time here in Congress. And this is threatening not only the methods but also the sources and the cooperation of our allies when it comes to two of the most sensitive areas of national security, that is stopping the Iranian nuclear threat and fighting out and taking out al Qaeda through the drone program. So, this is very serious stuff. I don't think we can just let the White House investigate itself or take its word for it that it is not the source of these leaks."

"This is a serious matter," Cornyn reiterates. "It's much bigger than party or politics. And that's why I think you are seeing such bipartisan concern into leaks into one of the most sensitive national security programs that exist."

Filed under: Leaks • Security
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