Clarification added. See below.
On Sunday’s “State of the Union” on CNN, Arizona Sen. John McCain continued to request a special counsel to investigate intelligence leaks from the White House, which some contend were a politically motivated attempt to portray President Barack Obama and his administration positively.
On Friday, Attorney General Eric Holder appointed two U.S. attorneys — Ronald Machen, the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, and Rod Rosenstein, the U.S. attorney for the District of Maryland — to lead probes into the leaks. However, according to McCain, Holder’s Justice Department cannot be trusted to carry out the investigation.
“Well, first of all, Mr. Holder’s credibility with Congress is — there is none. As you know, we’ve continued to have this problem with him withholding information on Fast and Furious, which resulted in the killing of a border patrol agent in Arizona. He is close to being held in contempt. There is no credibility.”
McCain compared this situation to the Valerie Plame-Joe Wilson leak investigation from the mid-2000s and suggested that former Republican Utah Sen. Bob Bennett lead the investigation instead of the U.S. attorneys selected by Holder.
“[In] the Valerie Plame situation, they appointed a special counsel. This needs a special counsel, someone entirely independent of the Justice Department. I have great respect for the two individuals that were appointed, but this — if it is, and it certainly is a most egregious breach of intelligence in anybody’s memory, it certainly requires a special counsel who is completely independent, someone with credibility, like Mr. Bob Bennett.”
According to Brian Rogers, communications director for Sen. John McCain, McCain was referring to attorney Robert Bennett of the Hogan Lovells firm, not the former Utah senator:
Senator McCain was not referring to the former Senator Bob Bennett from Utah but instead to the noted and well-respected attorney Bob Bennett, who has represented major figures on both sides of the political spectrum in high-profile investigations, including President Clinton. Here’s his bio: