Attorney General Jeff Sessions vowed to crack down on leakers — and threatened to jail journalists who report on revelations of classified information.
Sessions called Friday morning for subpoenas against reporters who report leaked information, which he and the director of national intelligence described as a threat to national security.
“One of the things we are doing is reviewing policies affecting media subpoenas,” Sessions said. “We respect the important role that the press plays and we’ll give them respect — but it is not unlimited. They cannot place lives at risk with impunity. We must balance the press’s role with protecting our national security and the lives of those who serve in the intelligence community, the armed forces and all law-abiding Americans.”
President Donald Trump has condemned leaks against him and his administration, after threatening to “open up libel laws” during last year’s presidential campaign — and Sessions said he “strongly” agreed.
“No one is entitled to surreptitiously to fight battles in the media by leaking sensitive government information,” Sessions said.
The attorney general said the Justice Department had received as many referrals to investigate leaks in six months as in the previous three years.
“This nation must end this culture of leaks,” he said. “We will investigate and seek to bring criminals to justice. We will not allow rogue anonymous sources with security clearances to sell out our country.”
Sessions then issued a warning to U.S. intelligence services.
“I have this message for our friends in the intelligence community,” Sessions said. “The Justice Department is open for business, and I have this warning for would-be leakers: Don’t do it.”
AG Sessions: "I have this warning for would-be leakers: DON'T DO IT." pic.twitter.com/qAzQjkSvv3
— Fox News (@FoxNews) August 4, 2017