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John McCain: My friends, let’s call for an outside special counsel to investigate intel leaks — Senate Dems: Let’s not, but thanks for all the bipartisanship over the years

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By Doug Powers  •  June 12, 2012 04:36 PM

**Written by Doug Powers

It’s always been possible a day would come when all of Sen. John McCain’s bipartisan reaching across the aisle would pay off and the Democrats would return the favor when the Maverick wanted it most. Today, however, is not that day:

Senate Democrats blocked a resolution introduced by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) calling for Attorney General Eric Holder to introduce an outside special counsel to investigate a number of recent military and intelligence leaks.

McCain introduced a resolution Tuesday expressing the Senate’s support for Holder to appoint a special prosecutor. But Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) objected after McCain asked for unanimous consent that the Senate proceed to consideration of his resolution.

“What is at issue here is whether or not we are going to give an opportunity for U.S. attorneys, professionals in their fields, to handle this particular inquiry,” Wyden said. “And I see no evidence, Mr. President, that the way U.S. attorneys are handling this investigation at this time is not with the highest standards of professionalism.”

McCain said that recent military leaks and intelligence leaks warranted outside legal counsel to investigate the leaks.

“The damage to our national security has been articulated by many both in and outside the administration,” McCain said.

Dems circled the wagons quickly:

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., who chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee, has ferociously criticized the leaks, but said Tuesday she opposed the appointment of a special counsel.

“To have a fight over how we do this now will set back any leak investigation,” she said.

Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., contended that a special counsel should be appointed only if or when it had been discovered that “high administration officials” were giving improper information to investigators.

“If we find that some high administration officials are not giving proper information or whatever to your investigators, that kind of lack of cooperation might then merit a special counsel, but we’re not at that point yet,” Schumer said.

**Written by Doug Powers

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