Capitol Hill leaker to be hunted down Senate leaders want to know who blabbed.

October 16, 1991|By Newsday

The battle over Clarence Thomas may be over, but Senate leaders have vowed to continue their search-and-destroy mission against one of the most despised human beings on Capitol Hill: the person who leaked the sexual harassment charges to the press.

Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell, D-Maine, said yesterday he would join Republican leaders in an intensive hunt for the leaker.

"I don't know what happened," Mitchell said. ". . . And if I determine the identity of the person who did it, I'm going to try to see that the person is appropriately punished."

Some Republican supporters of Thomas have made it clear that their anger extends further, toward the newspapers and broadcast outlets that forever linked Thomas to the issue of sexual harassment.

But the criticism of the media has not been as vocal as that directed against the leaker, who apparently violated Senate rules in releasing a confidential FBI report.

Marvin Kalb, a former broadcast journalist who is director of a press and politics study center at Harvard University, called the search for the leak "a dreadful mistake."

". . . Leaks are the lubrication of government," Kalb said. "The president does it himself every day. Everyone is opposed to leaks until they need to leak something."

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