New York, NY (CBS) -- President Obama's Attorney General faced angry questions and calls for his resignation on Capitol Hill Tuesday. The issue is top secret information leaked to the press and how the justice department is handling the investigation.
The attorney general, on the hot seat before the Senate Judiciary Committee, defended his decision to use U.S. Attorneys to investigate leaks of highly classified information. Attorney General Eric Holder says, "I have great faith in the abilities and the integrity of these two gentlemen."
But Republican Senator Lindsey Graham insisted Attorney General Eric Holder should have appointed an outside counsel. Sen. Lindsey Graham says, "I think you're missing something here. You're missing the fact that this is a very big deal."
Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy and other democrats defended holder. Sen. Patrick J. Leahy says, "I think before we prejudge what these U.S. Attorneys are going to do, let's see what they do."
The leaks involved secret information about Iran's nuclear program and operations against terrorists. In contrast to Holder's other battle with congressional Republicans over a controversial illegal weapons program called 'Fast and Furious'. Sen. Graham says, "You've got a program that has been an embarrassment and has been like pulling teeth to get the information about who knew what and when
House Republicans want to take a vote to hold the Attorney General in contempt of Congress. Holder has offered to sit down and negotiate with them before that happens. He says, "I have extended my hand and I'm waiting to hear back."
Some republicans called on Holder to resign, but the Attorney General said he believes he has the confidence of the president.