NEW YORK (FOX 5 NEWS) - President Donald Trump has been railing about leaks since his inauguration. Less than two weeks ago, he publicly shamed Attorney General Jeff Sessions for being weak on investigating leakers. Sessions on Friday announced the U.S. Justice department is going after those who leak classified information and will prosecute them.
"This nation must end this culture of leaks. We will investigate and seek to bring criminals to justice," Sessions said. "We will not allow rogue anonymous sources with security clearances to sell out our country."
Sessions announced this stand one day after the Washington Post published transcripts of private phone calls President Trump had with Mexico's president and Australia's prime minister.
"No government can be effective when its leaders cannot discuss sensitive matters in confidence or talk freely in confidence with foreign leaders," Sessions said. "No one is entitled to surreptitiously fight to advance battles in the media by revealing sensitive government information."
Sessions said the number of leaks is out of control. The Justice Department is pursuing three times as many leak investigations as the Obama administration did.
The attorney general and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats are warning those who leak classified information that they will be found and prosecuted. Sessions said the Justice Department has already charged four people with leaking classified material.
"If you improperly disclose classified information, we will find you," Coats said. "We will investigate you. We will prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law, and you will not be happy with the result."
Sessions also warned the media that the Justice Department is reviewing guidelines for issuing subpoenas to media outlets that publish leaked classified information, saying that the press "Cannot place lives at risk with impunity."
"We respect the important role that the press plays and will give them respect, but it is not unlimited," Sessions said. "We must balance the press' role with protecting our national security and the lives of those who serve in the intelligence community, the armed forces, and all law-abiding Americans."
Going after the media isn't anything new for the DOJ. The Obama administration was viewed as being very aggressive, including a secret subpoena of reporters' phone records and trying to force at least one reporter to reveal their source.