White House adviser David Plouffe told Fox News Sunday’s Chris Wallace that Attorney General Eric Holder should be the one investigating leaks of some of the nation’s most sensitive classified intelligence information to the press over the past few weeks.
In recent weeks information about cyberwarfare against Iran, Obama’s terrorist kill list , that the United States had a double agent in al-Qaida in Yemen and the bin Laden raid have found their way into the press, prompting speculation that the president’s advisers were using classified materials to make him look tough on national security – a traditional Republican strength.
Plouffe kicked off the interview denying that the president nor any other senior White House official had released sensitive information to the press.
“To suggest that the people the president relies on for information everyday would leak is highly objectionable,” Plouffe said.
Holder has appointed two U.S. attorneys to look into the matter, including one who is on record as having donated to the president’s campaign, raising the specter of a political investigation leading nowhere.
The attorney general has raised questions about his objectivity in his questionable handling of the Fast and Furious gunwalking case and in his handling of issues related to Voter ID where evidence has arisen of Justice Department collusion with Project Vote, a left-wing political organization with ties to ACORN.
Wallace pressed Plouffe on the need for a special independent prosecutor to investigate the leaks to ensure that politics are excluded from the investigation. He also asked whether President Obama would follow President Bush’s example from during the Valerie Plame affair and order all White House officials in to release whatever they might know about the leaks.
“I’m not going to answer [the president’s] particular involvement right now,” Plouffe said. “There’s an investigation procedure, so let’s let that investigation happen.”
Later, Sen. Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn., who caucuses with the Democrats, appearing alongside former CIA Director Gen. Michael Hayden, denounced the leaks and said that a special prosecutor is needed.
“I reached a conclusion of needing a special counsel. because they avoid any appearance of conflict of interest,” Lieberman said. “Special counsels are created for a situation like this, where people might reach a conclusion that investigators, U.S. attorneys even working for the attorney general who is appointed by the president cannot independently and without bias investigate high officials of their own government.
“I think attorney general holder would do the administration and himself a favor if he appointed special councils in this case because it would remove any appearance that anybody in the administration would be trying to block a full scale investigation and protect anybody in the administration that may have leaked.”