In a rare public hearing before the House Intelligence Committee, FBI Director James Comey is not suggested on Monday that the recent leaks of classified stuff, the press only criminals – they are likely to fit the definition of espionage.
Monday’s hearing was billed as a discussion on the investigation of the Committee in the Russian interference during the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign. However, it was soon clear that the questions about leaks were also weighing heavily on the minds of the legislators.
“Leaks of classified information are severe, serious Federal crimes for a reason,” Comey said in his opening statement. He added that those who studied behind the leaks “should and, where possible, will be prosecuted in a way that shows that seriousness, so that people understand it just can’t be tolerated.”
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Accession Comey for questioning the National Security Agency (NSA Director Mike Rogers. During the hearing, lawmakers discussed the leaking of information about former White House National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn, was forced to resign last month after less than a month on the job.
Intel Committee Chair Devin Nunes (R-CA), said Comey, that he remains “extremely concerned” about what he called “widespread illegal leaks.” When Nunes asked if the indication of closure could stuff to the press as a violation of the espionage act, the FBI Director responded with a flat out “Yes.”
Comey seemed much less sure when pressed by the Republic of Trey Gowdy, R-S. C., whether journalists could be prosecuted for the publication of the same kind of classified information.
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“This is a more difficult question,” Comey said. “I don’t think a reporter have been persecuted in my life, but.”
Journalist Carl Bernstein, best known for his work on the Watergate scandal, suggested on Twitter on Monday that “many intel members are now decrying the “leakage” of confidential info “leaked” classified info knowingly.”
I w/confidence that many intel members are now decrying the “leakage” of confidential info have classified the “leaked” info knowingly
— Carl Bernstein (@Carl amber) March 20, 2017
Rep. Chris Stewart, R-Utah, pointed out that there are other, less dangerous ways for frustrated employees of the government to their complaints known, with Comey confirmed that “all of us in the intelligence community, robust whistleblower provisions, we will educate our people to, and a part of the whistleblower-track information to the appropriate Committee of the Congress.”
“To know that I find it difficult to justify all of the classified information leaked,” said Stewart. “And I hope you find these guys, and I hope they crack you on the head.”