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USA issues stern warning against 'staggering' leaks

USA issues stern warning against 'staggering' leaks

Regulator seeks input on changing "Volcker Rule" US attorney fired by Trump sends well-wishes to new Federal Bureau of Investigation director MORE on Friday announced a government-wide crackdown on leakers, which will include a review of the Justice Department's policies on subpoenas for media outlets that publish sensitive information. "For the past several months we have made changes and are seriously ramping up our efforts". "We must balance their 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 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.

Rosenstein also announced the formation of a designated unit of FBI investigators to probe leaks of classified information to the news media. 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.

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

"We are taking a stand", he added. In recent weeks Trump specifically urged Sessions-a target of the President's ire for recusing himself on matters related to Russian meddling in the 2016 election-to boost leak prosecutions.

"One of the things we are doing is reviewing policies for affecting media subpoenas", Sessions said.

The Department of Justice said Friday it was reviewing its policies on subpoenaing reporters in investigations of information leaks, a move that could compel journalists to break confidential agreements with sources or face legal consequences.

"Any disclosure outside of authorized channels is a criminal offense and we will simply not tolerate the illegal release of classified information", Coats said.

Sessions was accompanied by Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and National Counterintelligence and Security Center Director William Evanina.

"Anyone who engages in these criminal acts is betraying the intelligence community and the American people", he said.

Coates confirmed he will be working closely with DOJ to prosecute leakers to the fullest extent of the law and said the dissemination of classified information is a betrayal to the country.

"No one is entitled to surreptitiously fight their battles in the media by revealing sensitive government information", he said.

The Justice Department under President Obama pursued former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, who leaked sensitive information about USA surveillance practices to The Washington Post and The Guardian.

The announcement comes after months of embarrassing disclosures about the Trump administration, which spurred President Trump to call on the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Justice Department to get tougher on leaks.

Coates noted DNI is strengthening the security clearence application process is order to prevent potential leakers from gaining access to classified information in the first place.