Jeff Sessions’ Tough Talk On Leaks Heightens Fears Of Jailing Journalists

(This move was triggered by the “leaking” of two phone calls the president made to leaders of other nations. The transcripts were “prepared” by the White House and sounded like a campaign speech. Nothing was particularly embarrassing for the president and for the most part they showed he was trying to do what he said he would do during the campaign which led me yesterday to conclude that these were leaked by the White House themselves much like the tax return Rachel Maddow got her hands on months ago. Now we have Sessions leading the charge to lock up journalists along with leakers. Sounds like someone had a plan all along, doesn’t it? If you recall, back in the Obama days, they crafted a law which many of us worried could be used to target journalists for simply doing their jobs.)

from Huffington Post

Journalists were alarmed Friday after U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the Department of Justice was revisiting guidelines for handling media subpoenas in leak investigations and said there needed to be limits on press freedom.

“Are you saying you will jail journalists, Mr. Attorney General?” a reporter asked as Sessions exited the room. “Do you plan to prosecute journalists?”

Sessions didn’t answer that question, or any, at the press conference. He “tells room of reporters he may make it easier to jail them if they don’t reveal sources,” MSNBC host and attorney Ari Melber tweeted, and “leaves without taking any press questions.”

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein took questions from reporters after the news conference but wouldn’t give any assurances that journalists would not be prosecuted, which would be a major departure from how DOJ traditionally deals with the press in leak cases. Rosenstein said he didn’t “want to get into hypotheticals.”

The Obama administration was particularly aggressive in targeting leakers, and its use of the Espionage Act to prosecute officials accused of disclosing classified materials to the news media was unprecedented…

[read more here]

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