Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a recent interview that he was investigating who illegally leaked former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn’s phone calls to the media.
Asked specifically by Fox News anchor Maria Bartiromo if his office was investigating the leak, he responded: “That is a violation of the law, to leak classified documents, and it is being investigated.”
Those comments were overshadowed by his remarks that alleged FBI abuse of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act were being investigated. Sessions later said it was actually the Justice Department Inspector General investigating that matter, not DOJ prosecutors, prompting a strong rebuke from President Trump earlier this week.
However, it appears that the Flynn leak is being handled by the Justice Department. Breitbart News asked Justice Department Press Secretary Sarah Isgur Flores about Sessions’ comments and whether the leak is being investigated by the DOJ or the DOJ IG. Flores indicated the former.
“Criminal unauthorized disclosures of classified material are investigated by the national security division,” she said.
Last August, Sessions stood up a task force dedicated to investigating leaks. He did not indicate during the recent interview when anything might be announced, but said the leaks are being investigated “aggressively.”
“I will say this, the last two years before I became Attorney General there were – each year there were three open investigations of classified leaks. Now we have 27, we’re going after this aggressively. I am directing it personally. Some of the matters involve this matter and some of it is a matter I am not recused on and we’re pursuing it aggressively,” he said during the interview earlier this month.
In December 2016, Flynn, then the incoming national security adviser, spoke with U.S. Ambassador to Russia Sergei Kislyak via phone, to discuss sanctions the Obama administration had just enacted on Moscow, in response to election interference.
A “senior U.S. government official” then told the Washington Post’s David Ignatius that Flynn had phoned Kislyak several times on December 29, 2016.
The January 12, 2017, article asked: “What did Flynn say, and did it undercut the U.S. sanctions?” It then questioned whether Flynn had violated the “spirit” of “the Logan Act,” a never-enforced law that bars U.S. citizens from discussing U.S. disputes with a foreign government.
“Current and former U.S. officials” then illegally leaked the contents of that call — which was classified intelligence — to the Post, which ran another story two weeks later, on February 9, 2017. In that story, they told the Post that Flynn “privately discussed” the Obama sanctions, contrary to what Trump officials had said publicly.
Although the FBI reportedly concluded he did nothing wrong during his calls, Flynn’s alleged lying to other Trump administration officials purportedly led to his firing.