Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a government-wide crackdown on leaks today, which will include a review of the Justice Department’s policies on subpoenas for media outlets that publish sensitive information, The Hill reports.
“At a press conference with Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, Sessions announced that the Justice Department, FBI and government intelligence agencies will direct more resources into the investigations of government leaks and would prioritize prosecuting those that pass sensitive information along to the press or foreign officials,” the story reports.
Sessions indicated that his deputy director Rod Rosenstein and incoming FBI director Christopher Wray will oversee the classified leaks investigations.
“The national security division of the Justice Department will prioritize cases involving unauthorized disclosures, Sessions said, and the departments ‘will not hesitate to bring lawful and appropriate criminal charges against those who abuse the public trust,'” the story reports. “Sessions said his Justice Department has already tripled the number of active leak investigations over the previous administration, and that the FBI would create a new counterintelligence unit to manage the cases.”
Said Sessions: “We respect the important role the press plays and we’ll give them respect, but it’s not unlimited. They cannot place lives at risk with impunity. We must balance the press’ 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.”