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CIA asks Justice Dept. to review prisons report
GOP leaders also ask probe of how newspaper got information
Tuesday, November 8, 2005; Posted: 11:22 p.m. EST (04:22 GMT)
CNN's David Ensor, Pam Benson, Ed Henry and Ted Barrett contributed to this report.
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The CIA has sent a report to the U.S. Justice Department indicating classified information may have been leaked to The Washington Post for its recent story about secret prisons run by the spy agency, according to U.S. officials.
The newspaper reported last week that the CIA was holding top suspected al Qaeda terrorists at undisclosed prisons in eastern Europe and other locations.
...Earlier Tuesday, Republican congressional leaders asked for an investigation into the matter, and Sen. Trent Lott of Mississippi suggested his own GOP colleagues could be to blame for the possible leak.
Sen. Bill Frist of Tennessee, the Senate majority leader, and Rep. Dennis Hastert of Illinois, the House speaker, asked the chairmen of the House and Senate intelligence committees to look into the report, saying the disclosure could damage national security.
"If accurate, such an egregious disclosure could have long-term and far-reaching damaging and dangerous consequences, and will imperil our efforts to protect the American people and our homeland from terrorist attacks," they wrote in a letter requesting the investigation.
Lott told reporters the information in the Post story was the same as that given to Republican senators in a closed-door briefing by Vice President Dick Cheney last week.
"Every word that was said in there went right to the newspaper," he said. "We can't keep our mouths shut."
Lott, a former Senate majority leader who was pushed out in 2002, suggested the information was passed along by a senator to a staff member.
He said the investigation Frist and Hastert want may result in an ethics probe of a Senate member.