White House leaks are 'threatening national security', Jeff Sessions says

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaks during his interview with The Associated Press at the National Police Headquarters in San Salvador El Salvador. Sessions addressed the National Organization of Black Law E

For months, President Trump and key Republican lawmakers have been calling on the Justice Department to investigate leaks, asking the department to find out who disclosed to reporters classified information surrounding the US government's ongoing probe of Russian meddling in last year's presidential election.

During President Donald Trump's administration, the only announced charges were filed against Reality Leigh Winner, a 25-year-old government contractor, the Post says.

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

"We are taking a stand, this leaking must stop", he said.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.

The Obama Justice Department brought more leaks cases than all its predecessors combined.

At a press conference with Director of National Intelligence Dan CoatsDan CoatsSpy agencies changed rules, making it easier to unmask members of Congress How far does congressional investigative power go?

Sessions said he had tripled investigations into leaks under his watch, but did not answer shouted questions regarding whether the department would prosecute journalists.

Sessions also said that the US Department of Justice is reviewing policies concerning subpoenas for the press about intelligence leaks.

"We respect the important role the press plays and will give them respect, but they can not place lives at risk with impunity", he said.

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"They can not place lives at risk with impunity", he said.

"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", he said.

The Justice Department has warned some of the information being leaked has the potential to threaten national security.

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. The Department of Justice is open for business and I have, this morning, this warning: "Don't do it", Sessions said at Justice Department headquarters on Friday.

"Anyone who engages in these criminal acts is betraying the intelligence community and the American people", he 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. Unauthorized disclosures include leaks to the media as well as to foreign adversaries, Sessions said.

Hours later, the Wall Street Journal reported a grand jury had been convened in special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of the Trump campaign's alleged ties to Russian Federation. "Leaks to the media are not whistleblowing", Rosenstein said.

That came to a head this week when the full transcripts of Trump's phone calls with foreign leaders were leaked to The Washington Post. Graham said. "It's just not fair to President Trump".

These first months of the Trump administration dramatically illustrate that point.

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