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TODAY   |  June 28, 2013

Top military official accused of cyber-attack leak

James Cartwright, a retired general and trusted member of President Obama’s national security team, has been informed that he’s the target of a Justice Department criminal investigation into a leak about a covert cyber-attack on Iran’s nuclear program. NBCs Mike Isikoff reports.

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>>> nbc news was forced to break. the former second ranking officer in the u.s. military now a target for an investigation for leaking classified information . the national correspondence has the story. good morning to you.

>> reporter: good morning. questions are swirling over whether he'll face charges for leaking classified information about a u.s. cyberattack in iran.

>> james cartwright was a trusted member of the president's national security team. second highest ranking member of the u.s. military and former vice chairman of the joint chiefs of staffs. now legal sources say he is the target of a justice department criminal investigation into a leak about a covert u.s. cyberattack on iran's nuclear program , an investigation the president himself demanded last year.

>> these are criminal acts when they release information like this.

>> reporter: the new york times had broken the story that president obama had ordered a stepped up cyber weapons attack using a computer virus known as stuxnet, a program cartwright oversaw from the pentagon. cartwright did not respond to request for comment from nbc news, his lawyer gregory craig said only i have no comment. they disclosed key details including the code name, olympic games , the cooperation of israel intelligence and disabling 1,000 iranian centerfuses.

>> that makes it harder for those methods or related methods to be used in the future. that's devastating.

>> reporter: white house and justice department officials declined to comment of any aspect of the case but federal prosecutors developed their case without issuing a subpoena for phone records from the