Attorney General Jeff Sessions Says He Wants Lie Detector Tests to Find Leakers

Jeff Sessions

Since his first day in office, President Trump has been plagued by illegal leaks.  Now, Attorney General Jeff Sessions is telling people within the National Security Council (NSC) that he wants to conduct lie detector tests on their employees in order to find out who has been leaking confidential conversations with world leaders to the press, so that they can be tried and thrown into prison.

The number of employees with that particular access is relatively small and Sessions believes the leaker or leakers will be exposed.  Sessions has also said that he favors subpoenaing reporters and to force them to name their sources.  He has made it quite clear that the leakers will be facing major charges and should expect to spend an extended time away from home.

According to Axios:

Sessions’ idea is to do a one-time, one-issue, polygraph test of everyone on the NSC staff. Interrogators would sit down with every single NSC staffer (there’s more than 100 of them), and ask them, individually, what they know about the leaks of transcripts of the president’s phone calls with foreign leaders. Sessions suspects those leaks came from within the NSC, and thinks that a polygraph test — at the very least — would scare them out of leaking again.

Sessions has told associates he likes the idea of targeting the foreign leader phone calls because there’s a small enough universe of people who would have had access to these transcripts. Also, the idea that the President of the United States can’t have private conversations with foreign leaders was a bridge too far, even for Democrats.

Ian Prior, a spokesman for Sessions, declined comment when presented with the details of this report.

Why this matters: That Sessions would seriously entertain such a startling action reveals how frustrated he’s become about the rampant leaking of classified information. Leak probes like the one Sessions announced at a big press conference on August 4 have happened under previous administrations, and rarely with any significant success. In fact, they can even backfire – look no further than the leak probe that ensnared James Cartwright, Obama’s favorite general. Obama later pardoned Cartwright. So much for cracking down on leakers.

Any infraction of the Espionage Act earns the miscreant a ten year term in prison and a fine not to exceed $100,000:

18 U.S. Code § 798 – Disclosure of classified information:
US Code

(a) Whoever knowingly and willfully communicates, furnishes, transmits, or otherwise makes available to an unauthorized person, or publishes, or uses in any manner prejudicial to the safety or interest of the United States or for the benefit of any foreign government to the detriment of the United States any classified information—

(1) concerning the nature, preparation, or use of any code, cipher, or cryptographic system of the United States or any foreign government; or

(2) concerning the design, construction, use, maintenance, or repair of any device, apparatus, or appliance used or prepared or planned for use by the United States or any foreign government for cryptographic or communication intelligence purposes; or

(3) concerning the communication intelligence activities of the United States or any foreign government; or

(4) obtained by the processes of communication intelligence from the communications of any foreign government, knowing the same to have been obtained by such processes—

Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.

I look for people to resign before taking the test.  But, if they do, they are telling Sessions whose computer to check.  Also, and possibly more important is, did the leakers initiate the leaks or did the media goad them into it.  That would be a crime committed by the reporter and also carries a stiff term in a federal pen.

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