Democratic Sen. Patrick J. Leahy on Tuesday compared a Republican request for a special counsel to probe the email server used by former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to something from "Alice in Wonderland."
"Let's not spend millions of dollars more in taxpayers' money. I have complete faith in the integrity of the Attorney General and the director of the FBI," the Vermont Democrat told CQ Roll Call in a brief interview. "They seem to just want to spend millions and millions and millions of dollars in taxpayer money to go after her. These are the same people who refused to pass money to increase security in our embassies. Now they want to spend millions of dollars talking about Benghazi."
Leahy is the ranking Democrat on both the Judiciary Committee and the Appropriations subcommittee that funds the State Department and foreign aid programs.
In a separate statement to CQ Roll Call, Leahy expanded on his thoughts, taking particular umbrage at the suggestion by Senate GOP Whip John Cornyn of Texas in his Tuesday letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch.
"I do not question the integrity or ability of Attorney General Lynch or FBI Director Comey – and certainly do not see any conflict or extraordinary circumstances that would warrant a Special Counsel. Such a suggestion is nothing more than yet another political ploy that would compound the growing pile of taxpayer dollars that already has been wasted on this politically motivated quest," Leahy said in the statement.
Brian Fallon, a spokesman for Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign — who happens to have previously served as the top spokesman at the Justice Department — was dismissive of the Cornyn request.
"Now that the Justice Department has confirmed that Hillary Clinton did nothing wrong in choosing to delete her personal emails, Republicans in Congress are flailing to sustain their partisan attacks on this issue," Fallon said in an email.
The Justice Department declined to comment in response to the Cornyn letter, other than to confirm that it was received.
See photos, follies, HOH Hits and Misses and more at Roll Call's new video site. Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call in your inbox or on your iPhone.