Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), a senior member of the Intelligence Committee and former federal prosecutor, released the following statement after some lawmakers continued an ill-advised push for a special counsel to investigate recent intelligence leaks:
“I have every confidence that U.S. Attorneys Ronald Machen and Rod Rosenstein have the integrity and experience to do a thorough and independent investigation into these damaging leaks of classified information. They must be given wide latitude to follow the evidentiary trail wherever it leads and to bring those responsible to justice. I have every confidence that the Administration and Justice Department will cooperate with their investigation, and if the U.S. Attorneys run into any opposition, they have only to inform Congress and we will take whatever steps are necessary.
“Investigations into leaks of this kind are inherently difficult and time-consuming. But the damage being done to ongoing operations, the cooperation of our allies and our sources and methods is so considerable, every effort must be made to stop them.
“The selection of a special prosecutor should rarely be the option first resort. Investigations by special counsels are often costly, time-consuming and run the risk of becoming fishing investigations. Unless there is evidence of obstruction, the U.S. Attorneys should be given the time and latitude to do their jobs and bring charges against any responsible parties.”
Schiff is a former Assistant U.S. Attorney who prosecuted the successful trail of infamous former FBI agent Richard Miller who was convicted of espionage for passing information to a Russian spy.