by Susan Duclos, All News Pipeline:
The mainstream media is having an absolute temper tantrum after Attorney General Jeff Sessions reminded them at Friday’s press conference, which he and DNI Dan Coats spoke at, that while they and others investigating the leaks of classified information to the press “respect the important role that the press plays and will give them respect,” it is “not unlimited.” Sessions went on to expand on that by stating “They cannot place lives at risk with impunity. We must balance their role with protecting our national security and the lives of those who serve in our intelligence community, the armed forces, and all law abiding Americans.”
The attorney general said that the DOJ has tripled investigations into these leaks, adding he has “listened to careerinvestigators and prosecutors about how to most successfully investigate and prosecute these matters.”
“At their suggestion, one of the things we are doing is reviewing policies affecting media subpoenas.”
That ladies and gentlemen was a shot across the bow, letting leakers know that they will be hunted, found and prosecuted to the fullest extent, while also making it clear that the MSM cannot use their “shield laws” and “reporter’s privilege” to protect their sources if those sources are jeopardizing national security.
Predictably, journalists from all across the industry started freaking out with people like NBC News’ Ken Dilanian calling Sessions’ announcement “a significant development for anyone who cares about press freedom.”
Others like New York Times reporter Serge Kovaleski described Sessions’ speech as “authoritarian-style threats.” BuzzFeed deputy news director Tom Namako dramatically declared “Sessions threatens the free press — which is protected by the First Amendment.”
MSM employees took to social media to decry Sessions threats of forcing them to reveal sources that leaked classified information that damages the governments ability to protect Americans, but case law and Supreme Court rulings back Sessions up on the assertion that their First Amendment protections are indeed limited when it comes to protecting deep state sources within the intelligence community that are revealing classified information to members of the press.
In Branzburg v. Hayes, 1972, the Supreme Court found that a journalist does not have the constitutional right to refuse to reveal sources if the the government can “convincingly show a substantial relation between the information sought and a subject of overriding and compelling state interest.”
We have heard from current intelligence leaders, former intelligence leaders and politicians from both sides of the aisle, and even Trump critics, as to the dangers posed by the recent leaks from deep state members in the intelligence community to national security, which negates the the claims by the MSM that taking measures to stop those illegal leaks, which violate federal laws, is a matter of “free press,” or falls under the First Amendment.
“This is beyond the pale and will have a chilling effect going forward on the ability of the commander in chief to have candid discussions with his counterparts,” Ned Price, a former National Security Council official under President Barack Obama, told The Hill.
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