Sessions warns leakers: 'Don't do it'

John Amis

"This nation must end the culture of leaks". "No government can be effective when its leader cannot discuss sensitive matters in confidence or to talk freely in confidence with foreign leaders". We respect the important role that the press plays and will give them respect, but it is not unlimited.

Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats said these disclosures have resulted in a major threat to U.S. national security. They can not place lives at risk with impunity.

The attorney general also said he wanted to review policies on media subpoenas - compelling journalists to testify in court - to balance the role of the press with protecting national security.

During President Donald Trump's administration, the only announced charges were filed against Reality Leigh Winner, a 25-year-old government contractor, the Post says.

Sessions also said that the US Department of Justice is reviewing policies concerning subpoenas for the press about intelligence leaks.

"Dont do it", Sessions said in a warning to the leakers. In response to the leaks, he suggested the department will move to expand the use media subpoenas.

"I have a message for the intelligence community: The Department of Justice is open for business".

Sessions further directed Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray to personally oversee classified leak investigations, and ordered USA attorneys to prioritize prosecutions of leakers.




"From aggressively pursuing the leaking of classified information that puts innocent Americans at risk, to efforts that will secure our borders, to cracking on down on drugs and gangs, and especially being more supportive of local and national law enforcement, the DOJ under Jeff Sessions has been a breath of fresh air and he will make all Americans proud", said former Sen.

On Friday, Sessions appeared alongside Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein and National Counterintelligence and Security Center Director William Evanina.

The attorney general would not give details about specific investigations, but said four individuals had already been charged with the unlawful release of sensitive government information.

"They endanger the men and women of the intelligence community, the armed services, and those who serve overseas", he said.

"If you improperly disclose classified information, we will find you, we will investigate you and we will prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law", Coats said.

The flow of leaks has frustrated the White House, which has been dealing with the cloud of investigation since before the president's inauguration. In the eyes of many on the right, those actions have tainted special counselor Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian election meddling. "Leaks to the media are not whistleblowing", Rosenstein said. And might lie detectors be used?

Some of the leaked stories have proven to be untrue, giving the Trump administration political ammunition in its attacks against the press.

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