POSTED: Tuesday, June 12, 2012 - 7:30pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, June 12, 2012 - 7:34pm
NBC NATIONAL NEWS — Election year politics and national security collided in Washington Tuesday.
It's a fight between President Obama's Attorney General Eric Holder and Republicans.
After U.S. intelligence busted up the Al Qaeda plot to blow up an airliner with an underwear bomb in May news reports revealed a secret double agent was at the center of the operation.
A second leak revealed years of U.S. cyberattacks on Iran's nuclear program.
Republicans charge the White House made the leaks to help President Obama beat Mitt Romney.
In a Senate hearing Attorney General Eric Holder vowed a full probe by two of his best prosecutors.
That's not not good enough for Republicans.
They demand an outside prosecutor, and some want Holder out.
"While we have very serious problems, we're still involved in this political gamesmanship," Holder noted.
Holder says president obama backs him, and he has no intention of resigning.
The leak probes will go forward on his terms, while he goes into next week's battle with house republicans, who are threatening to find him in contempt for refusing to turn over details of the failed gun running operation known as "fast and furious".
Critics charge Holder wants that botched operation kept low key because it reflects poorly on President Obama.