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Rosenstein on Leaks: DOJ Will Prosecute 'Anybody Who Breaks the Law'

Image: Rosenstein on Leaks: DOJ Will Prosecute 'Anybody Who Breaks the Law'

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein speaks during the Justice Department's Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month Observance Program at the Justice Department on May 31, 2017, in Washington, DC. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 07 Aug 2017 09:21 AM

Rod Rosenstein addressed leaks Sunday, saying on Fox News that White House staff and Congress members could be prosecuted for them, but the attorney general's office will not be targeting journalists.

The deputy attorney general made his comments on Fox News Sunday, when he told host Chris Wallace that his office will go after anyone who breaks the law.

"What we need to look at in every leak referral we get, we look at the fact and circumstances – what was the potential harm caused by the leak, what were the circumstances?" Rosenstein said on Fox News Sunday.

"That's more important to us than who it is, who is the leaker. So, if we identify somebody, no matter what their position is, if they violated the law, in that case, warrants prosecution, we'll prosecute it," he added.

When asked specifically if White House officials and Congress members were included in that, Rosenstein continued "Including anybody who breaks the law."

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Friday in a news conference as the Justice Department would go after leakers of classified national security information, declaring that, "We are taking a stand. This culture of leaking must stop."

"First, let me say I strongly agree with the President (Donald Trump) and condemn in the strongest terms the staggering number of leaks undermining the ability of our government to protect this country," Sessions said in his statement Friday.

"… No one is entitled to surreptitiously fight their battles in the media by revealing sensitive government information. No government can be effective when its leaders cannot discuss sensitive matters in confidence or to talk freely in confidence with foreign leaders," Sessions continued.

Rosenstein would not reveal on Fox News Sunday the number of referrals the Justice Department has receive about leaks except to say there has been a surge of complaints that will be investigated.

"We're going to devote more resources, reevaluate procedures, and make sure we investigate every one of those leaks, you know, in an appropriate way," Rosenstein told Fox News Sunday. "We've seen an increase in the number of leaks and we're going to respond appropriately and try to establish an effective deterrent. Criminal prosecution isn't the only way to prevent leaks, but it's an important part of the solution."

He added that journalists will not the focus or any investigation but those who give them the information.

"The attorney general has been very clear that we're after the leakers, not the journalists," Rosenstein said on Fox News Sunday. "We're after the people who are committing crime. And so, we're going to devote the resources we need to identify who is responsible for those leaks and who has violated the law and hold them accountable."

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Rod Rosenstein addressed leaks Sunday, saying on Fox News that White House staff and Congress members could be prosecuted for them, but the attorney general's office will not be targeting journalists.
rosenstein, leaks, white house, congress
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2017-21-07
Monday, 07 Aug 2017 09:21 AM
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