Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL), chairman of the House National Security Subcommittee, called on the Justice Department to launch an investigation into whether former FBI Director James Comey leaked classified information, according to a report.
DeSantis, a member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, also called on the Trump administration to fire all Obama holdovers from government, according to an interview with Washington Free Beacon.
“If he did violate any laws, he needs to be held accountable. If you’re violating laws in service of doing political warfare, that is just absolutely unacceptable, particularly for someone who held such a high position in the government,” DeSantis told the outlet.
On Monday, The Hill reported that four of seven memos Comey created detailing his nine conversations with President Trump contained classified information. Comey had admitted earlier this year that he leaked some of the memos to the media through a friend, to prompt a special counsel for the Russia interference investigation.
DeSantis’s call joins at least three other Republicans calling for an investigation into Comey.
Reps. Jim Jordan (R-OH), Mark Meadows (R-NC), and Jody Hice (R-GA) last month called for Comey to be investigated, in a FoxNews.com piece. The three men are also on the House Oversight and Government Committee.
“This guy is really a creature of the swamp. He maneuvers around D.C. in ways that are very similar to how D.C. insiders operate,” DeSantis said. “He’s one of the best in those regards.”
DeSantis and other lawmakers are now seeking copies of Comey’s complete memos in order to see whether classified information may have been leaked to the press in violation of U.S. law, Washington Free Beacon reported.
He is also pushing his colleagues on the House Oversight Committee to subpoena Comey to get the memos.
DeSantis also called on the Trump administration to purge all former Obama administration holdovers in the government, arguing that they are responsible for the unprecedented amount of leaks during the Trump administration that are potentially damaging national security.
DeSantis said Ben Rhodes, the former deputy National Security Adviser for strategic communications, is a primary source of those leaks, and urged the House intelligence committee to call him and other former Obama officials to testify about the leaks.
“Any Obama holdover at any of these agencies, you’ve got to get them out of there because clearly they’re not on the same team and particularly on the National Security Council,” he said.
DeSantis also criticized the press, particularly the New York Times and Washington Post, for continuously relying on anonymous sources.
“The press has helped facilitate this breakdown,” he told the outlet. “They run stories that say former officials say, and basically that means Obama people are saying it. A lot of times these are people who are not even in the government anymore and the media will take stuff and run with it and a lot of times it’s not fully the truth.”
“In the zeal to get Trump on something, they rely almost entirely on people that aren’t willing to raise their hand and testify under oath or name themselves,” he said. “Republicans don’t trust any of these newspapers.”