Attorney General Eric Holder announced late Friday that he had assigned U.S. attorneys Ronald Machen and Rod Rosenstein to investigate possible disclosures of classified information.
Holder called Machen, the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, and Rosenstein, the U.S. attorney for Maryland, "highly respected" and said he was confident they would "doggedly follow the facts and the evidence in the pursuit of justice wherever it leads."
Lawmakers have called
on the administration to assign a special counsel to look into the source of leaks related to the Stuxnet
computer worm the U.S. used against Iran as well as the president's handling of a secret "kill" list
, both reported extensively by the New York Times.
Rosenstein is a well-respected prosecutor first appointed by President George W. Bush and one of the few Bush appointees who Obama has not replaced during his time in office. Holder said the pair were "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."
President Barack Obama said at a press conference on Friday that his administration had "zero tolerance
" for national security leaks.