A Republican congressman said on Wednesday that journalists should be called before grand juries in any investigations surrounding national security leaks.

Trey Gowdy made the comments during a House Judiciary subcommittee hearing on possible legislation to crack down on leaks and potentially prosecute reporters for publishing classified information.

Congress has been in a tizzy ever since multiple New York Times stories revealed details about President Obama's so-called "kill list" and American cyber-attacks against Iran. The Justice Department has opened an investigation into the sources of the leaks, and legislators on both sides of the aisle promised to come up with stiffer penalties for leaking.

The White House has touted its aggressive leak policy and asserted that reporters have no special rights if they receive classified information from sources. Though its stance has drawn sharp criticism from whistleblowers and journalists, the White House would appear to have a friend in Gowdy when it comes to this issue.

In Wednesday's hearing, Gowdy compared journalists to "deceptive advertisements" and "high school students."

"The notion that the First Amendment has no limitations whatsoever is balderdash," he said. He then added that there was no reason not to subpoena reporters, since they all seemed to want to go to jail anyway:

"Put them in front of the grand jury. You either answer the question or you're going to be held in contempt and go to jail, which is what I thought all reporters aspire to do anyway. I mean all of us aspire to be committee chairmen. I thought that was the crown jewel of the reporter's resume to actually go to jail protecting a source. Give them what they want!"

Read more about the hearings at McClatchy.

(h/t Capital New York)

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  • Dianne Feinstein, Saxby Chambliss, Mike Rogers, C.A. "Dutch" Ruppersberger

    After a closed-door meeting with National Intelligence Director James Clapper, the four leaders of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees hold a news conference, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, June 7, 2012, to discuss the recent spate of classified national security information leaks. From left are Rep. C.A. "Dutch" Ruppersberger, D-Md., the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee; House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers, R-Mich., Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., vice-chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

  • Dianne Feinstein, Saxby Chambliss, Mike Rogers, C.A. "Dutch" Ruppersberger

    After a closed-door meeting with National Intelligence Director James Clapper, the four leaders of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees hold a news conference, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, June 7, 2012, to discuss the recent spate of classified national security information leaks. From left Rep. C.A. "Dutch" Ruppersberger, D-Md., the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee; House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.; and Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., vice-chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

  • Dianne Feinstein, Saxby Chambliss, Mike Rogers, C.A. "Dutch" Ruppersberger

    After a closed-door meeting with National Intelligence Director James Clapper, the four leaders of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees hold a news conference, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, June 7, 2012, to discuss the recent spate of classified national security information leaks. From left are, Rep. C.A. "Dutch" Ruppersberger, D-Md., the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee; House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.; and Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., vice-chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

  • James Clapper

    Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, center, emerges from a closed-door meeting with the House and Senate Intelligence Committees aimed at stopping security leaks, Thursday, June 7, 2012, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

  • James Clapper

    Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, center, emerges from a closed-door meeting with the House and Senate Intelligence Committees aimed at stopping security leaks, Thursday, June 7, 2012, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

  • Jay Carney

    Press Secretary Jay Carney briefs reporters at the White House in Washington, Monday, June 4, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

  • House Leader Boehner And Cantor Respond To Obama's Economic News Conference

    WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 08: House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) (L) and U.S. Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) (R) respond to U.S. President Barack Obama's remarks on the U.S. economy June 8, 2012 in Washington, DC. During their remarks, Cantor said, 'Did he see the job numbers that came out last week? The private sector is not doing fine. And, frankly, I'd ask the president to stop engaging in the blame game.' (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

  • House Leader Boehner And Cantor Respond To Obama's Economic News Conference

    WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 08: House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) (L) and U.S. Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) (R) respond to U.S. President Barack Obama's remarks on the U.S. economy June 8, 2012 in Washington, DC. During their remarks, Cantor said, 'Did he see the job numbers that came out last week? The private sector is not doing fine. And, frankly, I'd ask the president to stop engaging in the blame game.' (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

  • House Leader Boehner And Cantor Respond To Obama's Economic News Conference

    WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 08: U.S. Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) arrives to respond to U.S. President Barack Obama's remarks on the U.S. economy June 8, 2012 in Washington, DC. During remarks with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Cantor said, 'Did he see the job numbers that came out last week? The private sector is not doing fine. And, frankly, I'd ask the president to stop engaging in the blame game.' (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

  • House Leader Boehner And Cantor Respond To Obama's Economic News Conference

    WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 08: House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) (L) and U.S. Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) (R) respond to U.S. President Barack Obama's remarks on the U.S. economy June 8, 2012 in Washington, DC. During their remarks, Cantor said, 'Did he see the job numbers that came out last week? The private sector is not doing fine. And, frankly, I'd ask the president to stop engaging in the blame game.' (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

  • House Leader Boehner And Cantor Respond To Obama's Economic News Conference

    WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 08: U.S. Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) (R) and House Majoirty Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) (L) respond to U.S. President Barack Obama's remarks on the U.S. economy June 8, 2012 in Washington, DC. During Cantor's remarks, Cantor said, 'Did he see the job numbers that came out last week? The private sector is not doing fine. And, frankly, I'd ask the president to stop engaging in the blame game.' (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)