The Trump administration has been constantly plagued by leaks that reveal the chaotic nature of the White House’s current operation, painting a picture of shocking incompetence and bitter infighting. Trump has publicly vented about Sessions for failing to stop these leaks, leaving many to conjecture that he may be the next high level Trump official to be fired by the temperamental commander-in-chief.
Sessions has tripled resources into investigating leaks compared to the Obama administration, including reviewing subpoena procedures for media outlets who publish said leaks.
“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,” Sessions said today. “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.”
Journalists traditionally have not been prosecuted for publishing leaks except under the most extreme cases, as they are generally understood to be protected by the 1st Amendment’s freedom of the press. As of this writing, it is unclear whether any lives have been endangered or harmed as a result of Trump leaks thus far.
However, yesterday’s leak of transcripts of Trump’s disastrous phone calls with the leaders of Mexico and Australia have received bipartisan condemnation. Both Republican and Democrat government officials said the leak endangered America’s ability to negotiate with foreign powers.
“I have this message for the intelligence community: the Department of Justice is open for business,” Sessions added. “And I have this warning for would-be leakers: don’t do it.”