It was an extraordinary show of bipartisanship, intended to signal the seriousness of intelligence leaks.
"To have all four of us come forward today to talk about the severity of these leaks in think sends a very clear message about how dangerous it has become," says Rep. Mike Rogers, (R) House Intelligence Chair.
One by one, the top Republicans and Democrats of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees described the need for new legislation to stop what they call a cascade of leaks that threatens national security, and people's lives.
Some examples: An AP report about a thwarted al Qaeda bomb plot,
New York Times reports about a so-called "kill list" for drone attacks, and a U.S./Israel cyberattack on Iran.
"It puts us at risk, it puts lives at risk - it hurts our ability with our allies to get them to work with us and to get information," says Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, (D) House Intelligence ranking member. "It hurts us in recruiting assets that give us allow us information that will allow us to protect our citizens."
Rogers revealed results of his own preliminary investigation. "Committee has materials suggesting that the agencies were directed to expand the scope of classified information they gave to the press. We know in some cases someone form a segment of the media was present in a classified setting."
CNN was later told Rogers was referring to a film being made about the raid on Osama bin Laden.
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) calls the leaks politically motivated - to make the President look good.
Republicans here were more circumspect.
(Reporter) "Do you believe knowing what you know about the leaks that they are politically motivated to try to help President Obama?
"I'm not going to pre-judge what the FBI's charged with the responsibility of doing," says Sen. Saxby Chambliss, (R) Senate Intelligence vice chair. "You know we've been through this before in the Bush administration. Wherever the responsibility falls out that's where it's gonna be and if it's in the administration fine, if it's not in the administration fine. "
But 5 months before election day, everything is political...And democrats raising questions about leaks from anywhere in the administration could hurt.
(Reporter) "Do you have any concern that by making such a big deal out of leaks in the Obama administration -- maybe not the White House but the Obama administration -- this is going to be finger pointing politically at the White House?"
"This is not finger pointing at anybody. What we're trying to do is say we have a problem and we want to stop that problem," replies Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D) Senate Intelligence chair. "We're going to put changes in the bill, but Dana, this has to stop. When people say they don't want to work with the United States because they can't trust us to keep a secret, that's serious."
The White House insists these leaks are not politically motivated and to suggest otherwise is "grossly irresponsible."
As for the lawmakers, they agree on the need to investigate but not necessarily on how to do it. the House Republican chairman thinks there should be an independent investigator, while Feinstein says that she's not so sure because that could take too long. "It could take years and we don't have years."
(Dana Bash, CNN)