Attorney General Eric Holder said he was assigning two U.S. attorneys to investigate possible leaks of classified information.
Calls for an investigation into how sensitive national security details, including information about “secret kill” lists of terrorists, were leaked to the media intensified this week.
“Today, I assigned U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Ronald C. Machen Jr. and U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein to lead criminal investigations into recent instances of possible unauthorized disclosures of classified information,” Holder said in a statement.
He added: “In carrying out their assignments, U.S. Attorneys Machen and Rosenstein are fully authorized to prosecute criminal violations discovered as a result of their investigations and matters related to those violations, consult with members of the Intelligence Community and follow all appropriate investigative leads within the Executive and Legislative branches of government.”
Earlier today, President Obama struck back at critics who accused the White House of leaking classified material for political gain.
“The notion that my White House would purposely release classified national security information is offensive,” Obama told reporters. “It’s wrong.”
In his statement Holder said the leaking of classified information “can compromise the security of this country and all Americans, and it will not be tolerated.”