Leaks are sometimes enjoyable, sometimes enraging and sometimes, maybe even often times, done with malicious intent. The Swamp, Washington, D.C. and its residents, both temporary and permanent seem to thrive in the world of leaks. Certainly, the press demonstrates pangs of hunger for leaks that each member tries to get into print or on camera before anyone else. Leaks are, from their perspectives, almost heaven-sent.
The Attorney General has issued a statement to those who would leak and to those who would be beneficiaries of those leaks that this is not legal and that prosecutions will occur. Leaks have significantly increased with the elevation of Donald Trump to the Oval Office. Some have likely been engineered by the Oval Office while other leaks are obviously meant to be critical of the Oval Office and its current occupant.
It is that latter segment that is driving this new intensity to get leaks under better control. The threat of prosecution could do wonders for paring down the number of leaks but I doubt that it will eliminate leaks. The danger, of course, is for the information to have been released only to a select few people. If a leak occurs, those few are the instant easily identifiable targets.
Leaks that make the news, of course, would suggest the news organization and/or its person on the scene would be subject to immediate investigation. I wouldn’t be surprised if that person/that organization might find selves in a form of purgatory for a period of time and that would certainly tend to make them think a bit before publishing something of that nature.
Then, given that town being full of lawyers as well as politicians, the dung would likely hit multiple fans. Political enemies of the President, and yes there are some in case you hadn’t noticed, would be lit up, incensed over the trampling of their rights as members of the media. Those with close proximity to the Oval Office would also find themselves undergoing careful scrutiny. The ‘need to know’ would probably be restricted so that the potential leakers in the White House would be quite readily identified although there would be scapegoats that might be ‘sacrificed’ by their bosses.
The nature of some leaks suggests that those have come from the inner sanctum, and I suspect there would be an example or two made to let others know the President is serious about this leak issue. The ‘issue’ was driven by the release of transcripts of telephone conversations the President had with two foreign leaders, which he apparently found somewhat embarrassing as well as very troubling.
The Weekly Standard reminded us of the Obama Administration and its seven-year legal battle with the New York Times’ James Risen and with Fox News’ James Rosen who was labeled a potential criminal co-conspirator under the Espionage Act. Obviously, leaks know no political party bounds. Oval Office occupants seem uniformly enraged by leaks; some more than others given levels of embarrassment that occur.
And in that extremely competitive world of multiple news organizations and political hit squads, leaks might well simply be something conjured up over cocktails the night before. Such, frankly, is the animus aimed at President Donald Trump.