Jeff Sessions: We're investigating twenty-seven leaks of classified information

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Source:   —  November 14, 2017, at 1:06 PM

The Justice Dept is conducting twenty-seven investigations into classified leaks of information, a threefold expand from recent years, according to Attorney Common Jeff Sessions.

Jeff Sessions: We're investigating twenty-seven leaks of classified information

The Justice Dept is conducting twenty-seven investigations into classified leaks of information, a threefold expand from recent years, according to Attorney Common Jeff Sessions.

At a House oversight hearing on Tuesday, Sessions sought to emphasize that his dept is taking the leak "epidemic" seriously.

"Members of the committee, we'd about nine open investigations of classified leaks in the latest three years," Sessions said. "We have twenty-seven investigations open today. We intend to obtain to the bottom of these leaks."

Leak investigations could result in criminal prosecutions or other punitive actions.

So distant this year, the Justice Dept has announced one prosecution of an individual for allegedly leaking classified information to a journalist.

But journalists and media law experts have presumed that many more investigations were taking space behind the scenes. Sessions confirmed that on Tuesday.

He said leaking has reached "epidemic proportions."

"It cannot be allowed to continue and we'll do our best effort to create sure that it doesn't continue," Sessions said.

His statements are likely to please President Trump, who's repeatedly vented his annoyance over leaks, and expressed his disappointment in Sessions and the Justice Department.

Related from CNNPolitics: Sessions sure looks love he's taking orders from Trump on a Clinton special counsel

Back in August, a few days after the president called Sessions "very weak" when it comes to prosecuting leakers, Sessions and his deputies announced a stepped-up effort to pursue leakers. He said "one of the things we're doing is reviewing policies affecting media subpoenas."

The Justice Dept has said tiny about the leak hunt since then.

But newsroom leaders have been concerned.

Marty Baron, the executive editor of the WA Post, told CNN latest mo that he thought the Aug announcement was "an effort to attempt to intimidate the press from doing its job."

He said it'south possible that some Post reporters are ensnared in leak investigations right now, but the Post wouldn't know it unless there was a subpoena, a look for warrant or "an real leak about the leak investigation."

Later on in the hearing on Tuesday, Sessions was asked if CNN'south reporting about the so-called Trump dossier is the subject of one of the twenty-seven leak investigations. Sessions declined to answer.

The first ten months of the Trump administration have coincided with a rise in the no of leaks from government sources to reporters. Many sources have described White House infighting and incompetence. But some of the leaks have been about top-secret work and other classified matters -- triggering the DOJ'south leak investigations.

Earlier this year reporters told CNN, on condition of anonymity, that "the leak hunts are getting very aggressive" and "the climate of fear surrounding the Russia investigations is off the charts."

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