The Obama Administration on Friday launched a probe into high-profile leaks of classified national security secrets to journalists and writers.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder appointed two prosecutors to lead a criminal investigation into recent instances of possible unauthorised disclosures of classified information.
The “highly-respected and experienced prosecutors will be directing separate investigations currently being conducted by the FBI,” Mr. Holder said in a statement.
“I have notified members of Congress and plan to provide more information, as appropriate, to members of the Judiciary and Intelligence Committees,” he said.
“The unauthorized disclosure of classified information can compromise the security of this country and all Americans, and it will not be tolerated,” said Mr. Holder.
The two attorneys appointed to probe the leaks are Ronald C. Machen Jr. and Rod J. Rosenstein.
The move came after days of strong criticism from lawmakers and allegations from Republicans that the leaks were done purposefully to benefit, but those harmed the national security interest.
Earlier in the day, President Barack Obama refuted reports that these were purposefully leaked by the White House to help his re-election campaign.
“The notion that my White House would purposely release classified national security information is offensive. It’s wrong, and people, I think, need to have a better sense of how I approach this office and how the people around me here approach this office,” Mr. Obama said.
In recent past, several news reports have appeared on the front pages of leading U.S. dailies on various issues, including the one that he personally supervises terrorist kill lists and that he ordered cyber-attacks on the Iranian nuclear program.