In the nearly six months since he took office, President Trump’s administration has been embroiled in nearly seven times more leaks than former administrations, according to a newly-released Senate report.
A report released by Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) claims that “our nation has faced an unprecedented wave of potentially damaging leaks of information” since Trump took over the Oval Office. He also states that leaks occurring during his predecessors’ administrations “were relatively rare, even with America’s vibrant free press.”
“Under President Trump, leaks are flowing at the rate of one a day,” the report says and shows that the Trump administration faced 125 leaks potentially damaging to national security in 126 days — a “conservative estimate,” as it was noted in the report.
Upon closer inspection, it was determined that the Trump Administration faced 62 leaks, compared to only eight under the Obama administration, and nine under the George W. Bush.
While many of the leaks pertained to the investigation into Russian interference during the 2016 presidential election, some have also “extended to other sensitive information that could harm national security,” said the report. “President Trump’s private conversations with other foreign leaders have shown up in the press, while secret operations targeting America’s most deadly adversaries were exposed in detail.”
The report issued a warning that such leaks could cause “real world consequences for national security” and requested that federal law enforcement officials “thoroughly investigate leaks of potentially sensitive information flowing at an alarming rate.”
Additionally, it noted that such leaks of classified material are “potential violations of federal law, punishable by jail time,” according to the Espionage Act.
“Violations of the Espionage Act are punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment, as are violations of a separate statute, 18 U.S.C. § 1030(a)(1), which prohibits the communication of classified information retrieved from a computer if the information ‘could be used to the injury of the United States.'”
The report concludes:
“President Trump and his administration have faced apparent leaks on nearly a daily basis, potentially imperiling national security at a time of growing threats at home and abroad.”
“The commander-in-chief needs to be able to effectively manage U.S. security, intelligence operations, and foreign relations without worrying that his most private meetings, calls and deliberations will be outed for the entire world to see.”
“As [national security lawyer Mark] Zaid concludes: ‘One day history will judge the consequences of these actions.’”
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