Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Friday that the Department of Justice is considering subpoenaing journalists in order to determine who in the Trump administration is leaking classified information.
The attorney general made the announcement alongside Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, as leaks continue to pile up under the Trump administration, and the president continues to be publicly irritated with them.
“In the first six months of this administration, DOJ has already received nearly as many criminal referrals involving unauthorized disclosures of classified information as we received in the last three years combined,” Sessions said.
The attorney general said that the DOJ has tripled investigations into these leaks, adding he has “listened to career investigators and prosecutors about how to most successfully investigate and prosecute these matters.”
“At their suggestion, one of the things we are doing is reviewing policies affecting media subpoenas.”
“We respect the important role that the press plays and will give them respect, but it is not unlimited. They cannot place lives at risk with impunity. 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,” the attorney general continued. (RELATED: Media Freak Out After Sessions Suggests He’ll Subpoena Reporters)
President Trump attacked Sessions in a tweet last week in which he wrote, “Attorney General Jeff Sessions has taken a VERY weak position on Hillary Clinton crimes (where are E-mails & DNC server) & Intel leakers!” The leaks seemed to reach a climax Thursday with the release of transcripts of Trump’s phone calls with foreign leaders, which Sessions mentioned at Friday’s press briefing. He warned government employees not to disclose more information and DNI Coats gave an ominous warning to these individuals.
“For those out there who may be listening or watching these announcements understand this: if you improperly disclose classified information, we will find you,” Coats said. “We will investigate you. We will prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law, and you will not be happy with the result.”