Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. says he is confident two U.S. attorneys will "doggedly follow the facts" as they investigate the possible unauthorized disclosure of classified national security information.
But a criminal prosecution--assuming there was a crime--is far from certain. And some critics, calling for a special counsel, said they're concerned about a potential conflict of interest within the executive branch.
Holder on Friday assigned Ronald Machen Jr., the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, and U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein of Maryland, to lead criminal investigations following press reports about President Barack Obama’s decision-making about the so-called “kill list” and the government’s alleged involvement in using a computer virus to attack Iranian nuclear systems. Holder has a chance Tuesday to defend the leak probe when he appears at a Senate Judiciary Committee oversight hearing.
“These two highly-respected and experienced prosecutors will be directing separate investigations currently being conducted by the FBI,” Holder said in the statement, which did not identify any particular leak. “I have every confidence in their abilities to doggedly follow the facts and the evidence in the pursuit of justice wherever it leads.”