Sessions vows crackdown on leaks of classified information

Sessions vows crackdown on leaks of classified information

For months, President Trump and key Republican lawmakers have been calling on the Justice Department to investigate leaks, asking the department to find out who disclosed to reporters classified information surrounding the US government's ongoing probe of Russian meddling in last year's presidential election.

The Trump administration can't stop the leaks, so they are going to misuse the Justice Department to attack press freedom.

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 Trump administration today issued a stern warning to those behind "the staggering number of leaks" of classified information and said that it was reviewing policies affecting media subpoenas. "No government can be effective when its leaders cannot discuss sensitive matters in confidence or to talk freely in confidence with foreign leaders", he said.

Sessions' announcement lends formal weight to President Trump's recent demands that the government take steps to quell leaks from the intelligence community, which have led to critical stories about the White House.

"I have this message for the intelligence community", Sessions said.

"We must balance the press' role with protecting our national security with the lives of those who serve in the intelligence community, the armed forces, and all law-abiding Americans", Sessions said.

"We've already charged four people with unlawfully disclosing classified material or with concealing contacts with federal officers", Sessions stated".

Coats warned that the DOJ is prepared to identify individuals "betraying" the American people by illegally sharing classified information and forwarding their information to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

"We will prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law and you will not be happy with the result", he said.

Meanwhile, a White House adviser raised the possibility of lie detector tests for the small number of people in the West Wing and elsewhere with access to transcripts of President Donald Trump's phone calls. "Leaks to the media are not whistleblowing", Rosenstein said. Unauthorized disclosures include leaks to the media as well as to foreign adversaries, Sessions said.

Yet Trump's anger about the leaks of sensitive and classified information was ignited even before his inauguration.

"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 Thursday, The Washington Post published complete transcripts of Trump's controversial first calls with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

There has already been one arrest of a leaker related to the Russian Federation investigation.

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