It looks like the White House has finally had enough of the leaking issue. Recently, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coates stated that they are increasing the number of active leak investigations.
In an appearance at the White House, Sessions said that the Department of Justice has begun taking steps to decrease the number of leaks from the White House. He said, “Since January, the Department has more than tripled the number of active leak investigations compared to the number pending at the end of the last Administration.” The Attorney General also issued a stern warning to potential leakers, “Today, I have this message for the intelligence community: The Department of Justice is open for business.” Four people were recently charged for leaking sensitive information to the press.
Since taking office, the Trump administration has experienced an unusually high number of leaks from the White House. There are several officials in the executive branch who have given sensitive and sometimes classified information to the all-too-eager establishment media. These leaks are designed to undermine the Trump presidency. These leaks have prompted speculation of a plot by the infamous “Deep State.” Just recently, the transcripts of President Trump’s phone conversations with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull were leaked to The Washington Post.
The leaks are occurring because there are many officials in the state department that previously served under the Obama administration. These Obama holdovers are more loyal to the previous president than to the current one. The same holds true for the intelligence community. Trump has not replaced most of the positions that are currently occupied by the Obama holdovers. If Sessions’ statements are any indication, it appears that the days of rampant leaking are over.
The Attorney General has stated that he is tripling the number of investigations into the leaking of sensitive information. He said, “Simply put, these leaks hurt our country.” He believes that everyone in government can do better.
More than undermining the Trump administration, leaks can also pose a danger to national security. Sessions stated that they are investigating the leaks to the press, but he also discussed “unauthorized disclosures to our foreign adversaries.”
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has created a counterintelligence unit that will oversee leak cases. The Attorney General warned that the news media would not be off limits:
“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.”
In conclusion, Jeff Sessions stated that the Justice Department would no longer tolerate the leaking of sensitive information to the press, “We will not allow rogue anonymous sources with security clearances to sell out our country any longer.” While most Americans agree that rooting out the sources of the many leaks coming from the White House is important, there are some who are concerned about the government going after the press. The first amendment guarantees freedom of the press, but it is not clear whether or not that protection extends to the publishing of sensitive government materials. However, one thing is clear: if the Justice Department’s words are any indication, the leaking issue is going to be dealt with shortly.