Jeff Sessions Wants to Stop Leaks by Targeting Journalists
Jeff Sessions Wants to Stop Leaks by Targeting Journalists
05 August, 2017, 02:10
"For the past several months we have made changes and are seriously ramping up our efforts".
Coats, the director of national intelligence, sent a direct message to leakers, would-be leakers and the media outlets that have printed sensitive information. "No government can be effective when its leader cannot discuss sensitive matters in confidence or to talk freely in confidence with foreign leaders".
Members of the media will also be held accountable, Sessions warned.
Speaking at a news conference, Sessionssaid he condemned "in the strongest terms the staggering number of leaks" that undermine the ability of government to protect the country. "At their suggestion, one of the things we are doing is reviewing policies for effecting media subpoenas".
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"They can not place lives at risk with impunity", he said. "We must balance the press's role with protecting national security, the lives of those who serve in the intelligence community, the armed forces and all law-abiding Americans".
"We've already charged four people with unlawfully disclosing classified material or with concealing contacts with federal officers", Sessions stated".
Sessions was accompanied by Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and National Counterintelligence and Security Center Director William Evanina.
"Anyone who engages in these criminal acts is betraying the intelligence community and the American people", Coats said.
Coates confirmed he will be working closely with DOJ to prosecute leakers to the fullest extent of the law and said the dissemination of classified information is a betrayal to the country. "Any disclosure outside authorized channels is illegal and we will not tolerate it".
The Justice Department also abandoned a yearslong effort to force a New York Times journalist to reveal his source in the trial of a former Central Intelligence Agency officer who was later found guilty of disclosing classified information.
A number of leaks are suspected to be coming from Obama administration holdovers in the intelligence community, prompting Sessions to call on leading officials to work with DOJ to stop them. In the eyes of many on the right, those actions have tainted special counselor Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian election meddling.
Asked if lie detectors might be used, she answered, "Well, they may, they may not".
"There are many different ways to discover who is leaking". Graham said. "It's just not fair to President Trump".
Trump's outbursts against media organizations he derides as "fake news" have led to predictions that his administration will more aggressively try to root out leaks, and the timing of the Justice Department's announcement - one week after the president complained on Twitter that Sessions had been weak on "intel leakers" - raised questions about whether the attorney general was working to quell the anger of the man who appointed him.
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