Jeff Sessions Says DOJ Could Force Media to Give up Sources

Jeff Sessions in Atlanta

The announcement comes a week after President Donald Trump publicly called on Sessions to be more aggressive on the issue.

Sessions further directed Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray to personally oversee classified leak investigations, and ordered US attorneys to prioritize prosecutions of leakers.

He said authorities would take strong measures to stop "the culture of leaking".

"I've listened to our career investigators, FBI agents...and our prosecutors about how to most successfully investigate and prosecute these matters", Sessions said. He called them the latest in an escalating series of disclosures which has led to a tripling of the number of active Department of Justice leak investigations. Namely, his acknowledgment that, amid an ongoing attempt to discover and thwart leakers in the Trump administration, he's now assessing the Department of Justice's policies for issuing subpoenas to journalists. "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.

During his remarks Sessions lamented a number of recent news reports containing classified information and said upon review, will be making changes.

Baltimore officials say police won't enforce immigration laws despite Attorney General Jeff Sessions' threat to withhold federal funding for crime fighting unless they agree to cooperate. "They can not place lives at risk with impunity", Sessions asserted. "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.

In June, U.S. intelligence agencies formally asked the Department of Justice to investigate Russia-related "leaks" - referring as many as six leaks for investigation, according to sources familiar with the matter at the time.

The attorney general would not give details about specific investigations, but said four individuals had already been charged with the unlawful release of sensitive government information.

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

"Anyone who engages in these criminal acts is betraying the intelligence community and the American people", Coats said. In the eyes of many on the right, those actions have tainted special counselor Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian election meddling.

The flow of leaks has frustrated the White House, which has been dealing with the cloud of investigation since before the president's inauguration.

On Thursday, The Washington Post published complete transcripts of Trump's controversial first calls with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. He added that leakers will be "caught and prosecuted" by the DOJ, and lie detectors may be used, if necessary. Graham said. "It's just not fair to President Trump".

The climate for leaks has been attributed at least partly to holdovers from the Obama administration and Republican bureaucrats who supported other primary candidates and actively oppose President Trump and his agenda.

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