Ayotte asking Holder for special prosecutor
WASHINGTON — New Hampshire U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte on Tuesday joined 30 Republican colleagues in calling on Attorney General Eric Holder to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate what she said was the apparent disclosure of classified and sensitive military and intelligence information.
Ayotte’s office said in a statement that recent press reports “contain details about sensitive national security matters that may represent serious violations of law and breaches of national security.”
Ayotte’s statement said she is “skeptical that the Obama administration can impartially investigate itself in this matter — especially in the context of an election year.”
She noted that Attorney General Holder recently assigned two U.S. Attorneys to investigate the leaks and that one of the attorneys Holder tapped contributed to the President’s 2008 campaign.
Ayotte and the other senators wrote: “We are not talking about a single, isolated instance of a leak; rather, we are looking at ‘an avalanche of leaks’ on national security matters.
“On a matter of this seriousness, there is clear precedent to appoint an outside special counsel when there is the potential for a conflict of interest, the specter of political influence, or other extraordinary circumstances. As this is clearly the case here, we request that you appoint an outside special counsel immediately.”
The letter also says, “The numerous national security leaks reportedly originating out of the Executive Branch in recent months have been stunning. If true, they reveal details of some of our nation’s most highly classified and sensitive military and intelligence matters, thereby risking our national security, as well as the lives of American citizens and our allies. If there were ever a case requiring an outside special counsel with bipartisan acceptance and widespread public trust, this is it.”
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