Published: Sat, August 05, 2017
Entertaiment | By Minnie Bishop

United States attorney general says four charged in crackdown on leaks — BBCI

United States attorney general says four charged in crackdown on leaks — BBCI

Attorney General Jeff Sessions Friday detailed his plans to combat leaks of classified information, which have sparked the anger of President Donald Trump.

"For the past several months, we have already made changes and are seriously ramping up our efforts. We must balance their role with protecting our national security and the lives of those who serve in our intelligence community, the armed forces, and all law abiding Americans", he continued.

The Obama Justice Department brought more leaks cases than all its predecessors combined. "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.

The AG said the FBI has dedicated significant resources to these investigations, and created a new unit within the FBI to coordinate federal efforts.

"At their suggestion, one of the things we are doing is reviewing policies affecting media subpoenas", he added.

"Dont do it", Sessions said in a warning to the leakers.

"Referrals for investigations of classified leaks to the Department of Justice from our intelligence agencies have exploded", Sessions said.

Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats said these disclosures have resulted in a major threat to U.S. national security.

Sessions' announcement certainly didn't sit well with NBC's Chuck Todd, who said on Twitter that he would ignore the subpoena if the new policy goes into effect.

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"We will not allow rogue anonymous sources with security clearance to sell out our country", Sessions said at a news conference at the Department of Justice, promising to hunt down leakers and then throw the book at them. "And, most importantly, as I have previously noted, these unauthorised disclosures endanger the safety and security of Americans across the country", Coats said.

The Justice Department under President Obama pursued former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, who leaked sensitive information about US surveillance practices to The Washington Post and The Guardian.

The Department of Justice said Friday it was reviewing its policies on subpoenaing reporters in investigations of information leaks, a move that could compel journalists to break confidential agreements with sources or face legal consequences.

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.

Dan Coats, the director of national intelligence, promised that he would help with the crackdown.

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

The assertion came a day after The Washington Post posted highly classified transcripts of Trumps conversations with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

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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