Under Jeff Sessions, the Justice Department is cracking down on leakers

Under Jeff Sessions, the Justice Department is cracking down on leakers

Attorney General Jeff Sessions took new steps Thursday to punish cities he believes are not cooperating with federal immigration agents in a move that was met with bewilderment by local officials who said they did not know why they were being singled out.

"We are taking a stand", he added. They can not place lives at risk with impunity.

Sessions also offered a warning to the press, saying that prosecutors have launched a review of Justice Department policy related to subpoenas involving media organizations. "For the past several months we have made changes and are seriously ramping up our efforts".

Sessions also denounced high-profile leaks about Trump's conversations with foreign leaders.

Intelligence chairman accuses Obama aides of hundreds of unmasking requests MORE, 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.

"I've listened to our career investigators, FBI agents and others, and of prosecutors about how to most successfully investigate and prosecute these matters", Sessions said.

"I have this message for our friends in the intelligence community".

The Justice Department has already received almost as many criminal referrals involving unauthorized disclosures of classified information than in the previous three years combined.

Dan Coates, the Director of National Intelligence, joined Sessions at the press conference, saying that his office is reviewing the procedure used to issue security clearances before closing with an ominous threat for any government employee who leaks information to the press.

"These national security breaches do not just originate in the intelligence community", Coats stated.

The attorney general said four people are already being prosecuted to allegedly leaking, though he did not provide any details.

Sessions said that the Federal Bureau of Investigation had beefed up staff devoted to investigating leaks, and that those caught in his crackdown would be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

"If you improperly disclose classified information, we will find you, we will investigate you and we will prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law", Coats said.

President Trump has been enraged by the continual leaks coming out of the White House and intelligence community, and complained on Twitter last week that his attorney general was "weak" when it came to going after leakers. "And, most importantly, as I have previously noted, these unauthorised disclosures endanger the safety and security of Americans across the country", Coats said. Rosenstein said he would meet with media representatives to discuss the ideas next week. "This is really incensing the people who are here to serve and that begins with the president and the vice president, our cabinet [and] our chiefs of staff", said Conway.

Some of the leaked stories have proven to be untrue, giving the Trump administration political ammunition in its attacks against the press.

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