Finding the individuals responsible for leaking sensitive information from the administration of President Donald Trump may be an arduous process, given the manner in which information is catalogued and dispensed among federal agencies, The Hill reported on Tuesday.
The process of ferreting out those responsible for providing the media with information about Trump administration activities may gain traction after the president recently ordered the Department of Justice to "launch a complete review" of leakers with the intent to prosecute.
"Classified information leaks everyday, but typically only the most serious catch the attention of Justice," said former justice department spokesman Matt Miller.
"You have to invest a lot of resources and determine that damage was done and build a strong enough case to prosecute. It also depends on how aggressively you want to pursue these things. The most aggressive way is to subpoena reporters and make them reveal their sources, but that is a drastic step that can backfire," he added.
Notes taken from private meetings are put together into a "memorandum of conversation," known as "memcons," the article explained. Note takers document an event's details which are logged and registered as the official record of the meeting.
They are then distributed to relevant officials within the intelligence community. Assistants and those with proper security clearance can have access to the sensitive material.
That enlarges the number of people with access to data. Yet, it is not always a crime to leak sensitive information, and some don't expect leaks to end until someone is held accountable and prosecuted.
"I don't think they'll stop, there's too much animosity there," said Dov Zakheim, former undersecretary of defense for former President George W. Bush. "The only way it will stop is if they catch someone. Until they do, the leaks will continue."
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