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Sessions to announce actual serious effort to nab White House leakers
Leaking transcripts of foreign leader calls was apparently the last straw.
I don't know why it took so long for Jeff Sessions to realize what a big problem this is, but better late than never I guess. According to announcement that officially comes later this morning, the Justice Department is all in with the pursuit of the scumbag who may well find himself or herself charged with a federal crime:
The press briefing comes on the heels of one of the biggest leaks under this administration – the disclosure of transcripts of President Trump’s phone calls with two foreign leaders in January. Former federal prosecutors tell Fox News that leak likely constitutes a federal crime, and lawmakers of both parties have voiced concern about how that material got out and the security implications.
“Leaking the phone calls between our president and other heads of state is nothing short of a national disgrace,” Kellyanne Conway, White House counselor, told “Fox & Friends” on Friday. “I want there to be bipartisan outrage.”
She noted the West Wing is a “small place” and finding the leakers might be “easier” than some realize.
It’s unclear exactly what leaks and cases Sessions and other officials might discuss Friday, in a briefing set for 11 a.m. ET.
Sessions, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and National Counterintelligence and Security Center Director William Evanina are all expected to brief the public at Justice Department headquarters.
On Capitol Hill, Utah Republican Sen. Mike Lee said Thursday there should be criminal prosecution for leaking classified information, suggesting the transcript leak is such a case.
“Whoever leaked these needs to be found out and needs to be reprimanded, needs to be fired,” Lee told Fox News' "America's News HQ." “This is unacceptable and should never happen.”
Lee, who practiced law before being elected to the Senate in 2010, said such a leak “is a felony, a very serious federal felony offense.”
Yeah it is. So much so that you have to seriously wonder about the recklessness of the person who did it. You've got the president chirping every day about wanting to find the leakeres, and pressuring the attorney general to make it a priority, and you're going to go ahead and leak something so explosive and so sensitive that it runs the risk of getting even Democrats to admit they're horrified by it?
If Conway is right what a small place the West Wing is, and about how easy it might actually be to nab the leaker, then whoever did this must have been awfully confident that the swamp would continue to rebuke Trump's calls for action.
Maybe there was reason for that confidence. Washington's been a very leaky place for some time now, obviously well preceding the arrival of Donald Trump, and for the most part the Beltway culture winked at the legal ramifications of its leakiness. Yeah yeah, not supposed to do this, everybody does it all the time, how things work in this town . . .
For the most part the swamp is probably pretty pleased with its success resisting Trump and his drainage efforts. You don't like leaks? We'll leak even more! And obviously the press is going to cheer them on, particularly on this matter since they benefit from the leaks even as the country is harmed by it. So a committed swamp creature could easily become convinced that the leaking could continue with impunity - and could be taken to the highest level imaginable.
Reckless behavior rarely starts at its own apex. You get away with a little, you push it a little further. You're paying no price, you push it some more. The next thing you know, you're leaking transcripts of presidential calls with world leaders and you've still got it in your head that nothing's going to happen to you, because nothing ever happens.
I wonder if the real draning of the swamp will come not from Trump's extreme effectiveness at drainage but rather from the swamp's own hubris, believing that you can never go too far, and that there is no level of disloyalty that's unacceptable because Trump is Trump and the only thing that matters is destroying him. Trump got elected running against the culture of Washington and telling the voters it's essentially what this leaker has proven it to be. This may very well remind people of why, for all his stumbles and missteps, they're still glad they voted for him and not for that worst of all swamp creatures who stood as the alternative.
And when we get to that point, if the courts need help with sentencing, I have a thought.
Dan's new novel, BACKSTOP, is a story of spiritual warfare and baseball. Download it from Amazon here!