House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Jason Chaffetz told Fox News’ “The First 100 Days” Wednesday night that he would ask the Justice Department’s inspector general to investigate leaks of classified information that led to the resignation of former national security adviser Michael Flynn.
The Utah Republican told host Martha MacCallum that “no matter where you are on the political spectrum, you cannot have classified information migrating out into a non-classified setting.”
Chaffetz’s letter to Inspector General Michael Horowitz, which was also signed by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., described “serious concerns about the potential inadequate protection of classified information” and requested “that your office begin an immediate investigation into whether classified information was mishandled” in the Flynn case.
Flynn resigned Monday night after a series of media reports purportedly detailed his conversations with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. about sanctions levied against Moscow by the Obama administration.
The reports indicated Flynn had given Vice President Mike Pence “incomplete information” about the calls, leading Pence to deny discussion of sanctions took place.
Earlier this week, Chaffetz sent a letter to the White House questioning security protocols at President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida after the president and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe discussed North Korea’s recent ballistic missile test in a public setting.
“I think the standard is still the same,” said Chaffetz, who helped lead a congressional investigation into the Benghazi terror attack that led to the disclosure of Hillary Clinton’s classified email system. “You have a duty and an obligation, because by its very nature, if that classified information gets out there, it can harm somebody. It can kill somebody.”
“Same with Hillary Clinton, same with Donald Trump, and same with those in the intelligence world or at the Department of Justice who get to see this information,” he added. “They just can’t hand it out like candy and favors to those in the news media. Can’t do it.”