Attorney General Jeff Sessions said the Justice Department is reviewing its policy affecting subpoenaing members of the media during a Friday event aimed at stopping government leaks.
“One of the things we are doing is reviewing policies affecting media subpoenas… 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. “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.”
Sessions did not take questions and walked away as reporters shouted about whether or not he plans to prosecute journalists. Trump and members of his administration have been blasting leakers for months, and the Washington Post published leaked transcripts of confidential calls on Thursday.
Sessions also said, “We will not allow rogue anonymous sources with security clearances to sell out our country,” and warned potential leakers not to do it.
CNN’s senior media correspondent Brian Stelter questioned the portion of Sessions’s remarks when he said journalists are putting “lives at risk,” tweeting that it “cries out for evidence and documentation.”
Typically, when the Justice Department is investigating leaks, it goes after the leaker but not the reporter who published the information. Sessions’s comments could cause concern among journalists who fear that the government might start going after members of the media.
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