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Letter to Attorney General Holder

Letter to Attorney General Holder

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Published by: LindseyGraham PressOffice on Jun 26, 2012
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06/26/2012

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WASHINGTON,DC20510
June26,2012TheHonorableEricHolderAttorneyGeneralU.S.DepartmentofJustice950PennsylvaniaAvenue,NWWashington,DC20530DearAttorneyGeneralHolder:ThenumerousnationalsecurityleaksreportedlyoriginatingoutoftheExecutiveBranchinrecentmonthshavebeenstunning.Iftrue,theyrevealdetailsofsomeofourNation'smosthighlyclassifiedandsensitivemilitaryandintelligencematters,therebyriskingournationalsecurity,aswellasthelivesofAmericancitizensandourallies.Iftherewereeveracaserequiringanoutsidespecialcounselwithbipartisanacceptanceandwidespreadpublictrust,thisisit.PressreportsindicatethattherecouldbemanysourcestotheleakswithintheAdministration.Infact,inJoBeckerandScottShane's
NewYorkTimes
story,"Secret'KillList'ProvesaTestofObama'sPrinciplesandWill"thereportersstatetheyinterviewed,"threedozenof[Obama's]currentandformeradvisers."TomRicks'recent
NewYorkTimes
reviewofDavidSanger'sConfrontandConcealmentionsthat"Mr.SangerclearlyhasenjoyedgreataccesstoseniorWhiteHouseofficials,mostnotablytoThomasDonilon,thenationalsecurityadviser.
Mr.
Donilon,ineffect,istheheroofthebook,aswellasthecommenterofrecordonevents."YouhaveanimportantroleasamemberofthePresident'snationalsecurityteam,andnoAdministrationshouldbeexpectedtoinvestigateitselfimpartiallyonsuchagraveandsensitivematterinthemidstofanelection.Therefore,yourrecentannouncementthattwoU.S.Attorneyswouldleadcriminalinvestigationsintotheinstancesofunauthorizeddisclosuresofclassifiedinformationdoesnotensureafullandthoroughinvestigationfreeofinfluence.TheU.S.Attorneysareunderyourpersonalsupervision.Anoutsidespecialcounsel,withtheappropriateindependenceandauthority,
 
wouldensurethattheinvestigationremainsuntaintedbyeventheappearanceofapoliticsorundueinfluence.Ourrequestforaspecialcounselisinkeepingwiththeprecedentofaskingforaneutralinvestigationwhenthereiseitherapossibleconflictofinterestorextraordinarycircumstances.In2005,whenPresidentObamawasasittingsenator,herequestedaspecialcounseltoinvestigatetheJackAbramoffscandal,saying"FBIofficialshavesaidtheAbramoffinvestigation'involvessystemiccorruptionwithinthehighestlevelsofgovernment.'Suchanassertionindicatesextraordinarycircumstancesanditisinthepublicinterestthatyouactunderyourexistingstatutoryauthoritytoappointaspecialcounsel."
1
Infact,intheValeriePlamematter,then-SenatorObamawentbeyondthecallforaspecialcounsel,seekingaCongressionalinvestigation,arguinginaletter:"[t]heUnitedStatesCongresshasaconstitutionalresponsibilitytoprovideoversightoftheexecutivebranch,whetheralawhasbeenbrokenornot.ItistimeforCongresstofulfillthatconstitutionalresponsibilityinthismatterbyinitiatingathoroughinvestigation.Werecognizethatacriminalinvestigationisunderwayandthataspecialprosecutorcontinuestopresenttestimonybeforeagrandjury.TheseactionsinnowayprecludeCongressresponsibilitytoprovideoversight.WeurgeyoutoexerciseyourauthorityasCongressionalleadersbyrequestingtheappropriatecommitteestobeginoversighthearingsandaninvestigationimmediately.
,,2
In2007,then-SenatorBidencalledforaspecialcounseltoinvestigatethedestructionoftheCIAenhancedinterrogationtapes,statingthatthe"easiest,straightestthingtodoistotakeitoutofthepoliticalrealm,appointaspecialprosecutorandletthemdecide,and...callitwhereitis.Isthereacriminalviolation?Ifthereis,proceed.Ifnot,
don't.'"
J
36SenatorsUrgeGonzalesToAppointSpecialCounselToLeadAbramoffScandalCase(February2,
2
SenatorsUrgeCongressionalInvestigationIntoLeakofCIAAgentPlamesName(July25,2005),
availableathttp://www.kerry.senate.gov/press/releasel?id=113975c6-b667-42bfa6bd-9bbbOe1jb890
3
ThisWeek.
ABC.December9,2007.Television.
 
In2003,then-SenatorBidenjoinedalettercallingforanoutsidespecialcounselintheValeriePlameinvestigation,concludingthat,"Publicconfidenceintheintegrityofthisinvestigationwouldbesubstantiallybolsteredbytheappointmentofaspecialcounsel.,,4Then-SenatorBidenmaintainedthatevenifthatcasewerebeinghandledbyprofessionalcareerprosecutors,theintegrityoftheinquirymightbecalledintoquestionifindividualswithavestedinterestinprotectingtheWhiteHousewerestillinvolvedinanymatterrelatedtotheinvestigation.
If
thebarforanoutsidespecialcounselweremetinthecasesofValeriePlameandJackAbramoff,itisfarexceededhere.Wearenottalkingaboutasingle,isolatedinstanceofaleak;rather,wearelookingat"anavalancheofleaks"onnationalsecuritymatters.Onamatterofthisseriousness,thereisclearprecedenttoappointanoutsidespecialcounselwhenthereisthepotentialforaconflictofinterest,thespecterofpoliticalinfluence,orotherextraordinarycircumstances.Asthisisclearlythecasehere,werequestthatyouappointanoutsidespecialcounselimmediately.
-
4
Availableathttp://www.(as.orglirp/com;ress/2003cr/leak/elter.html

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