State Secrets: How an Avalanche of Media Leaks is Harming National Security, A Majority Staff Report of the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, United States Senate, July 6, 2017   [open pdf - 2MB]

"Federal law prohibits the unauthorized release of certain information that could damage our national security. The protection of our nation's secrets is essential to protecting intelligence activities, sources and methods, preserving the ability of the President to effectively achieve foreign policy objectives, and ultimately to safeguard our country. In short, the unauthorized disclosure of certain information can cost American lives, and our laws protecting this information provide for harsh punishments when violated. Since President Trump assumed office, our nation has faced an unprecedented wave of potentially damaging leaks of information protected by these important laws. Under President Trump's predecessors, leaks of national security information were relatively rare, even with America's vibrant free press. Under President Trump, leaks are flowing at the rate of one a day, an examination of open-source material by the majority staff of the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs shows. Articles published by a range of national news organizations between January 20 and May 25, 2017 included at least 125 stories with leaked information potentially damaging to national security. Even a narrow search revealed leaks of comparable information during the Trump administration that were about seven times higher than the same period during the two previous administrations. From the morning of President Trump's inauguration, when major newspapers published information about highly sensitive intelligence intercepts, news organizations have reported on an avalanche of leaks from officials across the U.S. government. Many disclosures have concerned the investigations of alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election, with the world learning details of whose communications U.S. intelligence agencies are monitoring, what channels are being monitored, and the results of those intercepts. All such revelations are potential violations of federal law, punishable by jail time."

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Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs: https://www.hsgac.senate.gov/
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