Here is a transcript of Rep. Adam Schiff's interview with Fox News. Schiff is a senior Member of the House Intelligence Committee:
Schiff: I am very concerned about it. These leaks are enormously damaging to our national security. They compromise some of our sources of information, they compromise some of our methods. They can put lives at risk and they serve no constructive purpose. So these are extraordinarily damaging and we need to get to the bottom of who is responsible.
Anchor: I understand that the house intelligence committee, according to Chairman Rogers, will launch an investigation as well. But he has already expressed concerns some agencies won't cooperate, the CIA already turning down his requests for information. How confident are you that the committee will be able to get answers?
Schiff: They will have to cooperate and I think they will. We have to recognize there are certain things that could pose a problem and make it more difficult for them to get to the source of the leaks. That's not something we want to do. We want to make sure that the prosecutors the Attorney General has appointed have the freedom and latitude to follow the trail, wherever it leads. We want to make sure that the intelligence agencies take this issue as seriously as we do. We know that's the case because it's some of their personnel and hard work that is being compromised. I am confident and determined that we get to the bottom of this.
Anchor: How confident are you that those folks will be independent enough to pursue the information? We are talking about very well respected U.S. Attorneys, but in are calling for an independent, outside, prosecutor/investigator, someone not connected to the Department of Justice, where there are people who have already recused themselves from being involved in the investigations?
Schiff: I think the Attorney General took an appropriate and strong step in appointing the well-respected prosecutors who are not at main justice. they are U.S. Attorneys themselves. I think they have the integrity to follow the evidence where it leads. And if they should run into opposition, one of the things I hope we can do in congress is have a dialogue and be assured that they have the latitude that they need.
But should they run into a road block, the responsible thing for them to do would be to disclose it to congress or if they feel their position precludes that, they need to resign and that will call attention that they are not getting the support that they need. But the problem with starting out from the assumption that you have to have a special council, that has led to them being very lengthy, very expensive fishing expeditions. So I think it's an appropriate step. I am confident that the gentlemen will do their job, but having prosecuted an espionage case myself, these are very tough cases.
It is very difficult to get to the bottom of a leak of classified information. and there are very real risks with it, that if you go forward with a prosecution, you may have to disclose more information and do more damage than at this time leak itself. So I don't want to make any representation that this is going to be easy or that it will necessarily bring about a conviction. But I do want to underscore that we need to pursue every means we to bring people to justice. I am confident that that is what the justice department will do.
Anchor: I want to ask you about statements from, in particular, Senator John McCain, who said he believes that some of these things are being leaked in an effort to show that the President is tough on issues in involving Iran or Al Qaeda, other things like that. To make him look like a tough guy in the midst of a re-election. The President has responded to those suggestions saying that's wrong and he find its offensive. Do you think there is any grain of truth in that accusation?
Schiff: No, I don't think that is correct. You know, there are two kinds of disclosures of classified information. There are some where informs is purposely declassified and that's appropriate and in fact, desirable. I will give you one illustration. the declassification of the photograph of Osama Bin Laden that was seized, where he looks like he's watching TV., wearing a knit cap on, that one image did more to debunk the myth of the ak-47-wielding Bin Laden than anything else.
That was a purposeful and important disclosure of previously classified information. But the other kind of leak, where it is -- the aggrandizement of the leaker, or whatever it is -- that's criminal and objectionable and has to be pursued. But the president already has quite strong bonafides on national security. I don't think he would go to the extraordinary and deleterious effect of having people leak information in a nonstrategic way to improve his position. I don't buy it. I don't think there is any evidence of it. But those prosecutors should go wherever the trail leads. If the trail leads to the White House, they should pursue it. If the trail leads to congress, they should pursue and let the chips fall where they may.