Attorney General Jeff Sessions, has considered identifying leakers among National Security Council (NSC) staffers via lie detector test, according to an Axios report published Sunday night.
Leaked transcripts of President Donald Trump’s conversations with foreign heads of state could only have originated from a “small universe of people” with access; narrowing the scope of over 100 NSC staffers, in total.
Sessions is reported to believe a polygraph test would “scare [NSC staffers] out of leaking again."
“Career intelligence professionals” are adept at “covering their digital tracks,” reports Axios.
“Even … Democrats,” reports Axios, want the president to be able to have private communications with “foreign leaders.”
In August, Sessions expressed commitment to ending illegal leaks.
“No government can be effective when its members cannot speak in confidence [with other foreign government leaders],” said Sessions on August 8. Criminal leaks are “being investigated and will be prosecuted,” he added.
“One of the things we are doing is reviewing policies affecting media subpoenas,” said Sessions, referring to a “staggering number of leaks undermining the ability of our government to protect this country.”
Reuters framed Sessions’ August statement as a threat to the news media, noting that eight of twelve federal prosecutions of leakers using the Espionage Act occurred during Barack Obama’s presidential tenure.
Leaks of Trump conversations include phone calls the president has had with Australian Prime Minister Macolm Turnbull and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto; both leaked to The Washington Post.
H/T Jonathan Swan at Axios.
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