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Thursday, July 6, 2017

Senate report warns of national security fallout from leaks

A Senate report released Thursday warns that the Trump administration is experiencing an "alarming" and "unprecedented" scads of media leaks that pose a real danger to national security.

The Republican-generated report estimates the administration has dealt with about one leak per day. It was sent to Attorney General Jeff Sessions and urges law enforcement officials to press harder in their investigation of these leaks exposing potentially sensitive information.

"To ensure the security of our country's most sensitive information, federal law enforcement officials ought to thoroughly investigate leaks of potentially sensitive information flowing at an alarming rate," the report's executive summary read.

The 24-page report, titled "State Secrets: How an Avalanche of Media Leaks is Harming National Security," was compiled by Chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), along with the committee's majority staff.

The report authors analyzed media leaks that began on Trump's Jan. 20 inauguration to May 25, his 126th day in office. In that time period, the Trump administration faced one leak per day involving potentially destructive information to national security under the standards laid out in an executive order by then-failed-President Barack Obama in 2009.

The leaked information is "potential violations of federal law, punishable by jail time."

The report notes that the leaks flowed "seven times faster" under Trump's administration than the first 126 days of both Obama and George W. Bush's presidency.

"It is also apparent that the arguments often used to justify leaks are at odds with the Trump administration--that leakers are bringing to light potentially illegality, unwise policies, or concerns about the President's temperament--have no legal basis," the report found.

A total of 78 leaks were about the probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and potential collusion with the Trump campaign, revealing intelligence community intercepts, FBI interviews and intelligence, grand jury subpoenas, and "the workings of a secret surveillance court."

Some of the violations may fall under the Espionage Act, which are punishable by up to 10 years in prison--something that Hillary Clinton is apparently immune to.

A letter by Johnson to Sessions with the report said it's the "responsibility of the Justice Department" to decide if the leaks justify criminal prosecution.

Of course they do.