Leaks

James Wolfe, a longtime staffer of the Senate Intelligence Committee, arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., October 25, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein/Files

Ex-Senate Intelligence Staffer Seeks Gag Order On Trump

June 19, 2018: Staffer Charged With Lying To FBI About Reporter Contact Doesn’t Want Trump And Others To Comment On Case James Wolfe, the former security director for the Senate Intelligence Committee charged with lying to FBI about his contact with reporters, is asking the court to issue a gag order to prevent President Trump and others from commenting on[Read More…]

June 21, 2018 Leaks, Speech, Top Stories
The Alarming Rise in Verbal and Physical Threats to the Press

The Alarming Rise in Verbal and Physical Threats to the Press

Many presidents have had contentious relationships with the press. President John Adams’ 1798 Sedition Act made publishing anything critical of the government illegal, President Theodore Roosevelt tried to sue the press for unfavorable coverage and other leaders have tried to control the flow of information. However, the animosity towards the press fostered by President Donald Trump many believe is unprecedented.

June 13, 2018 Below the Fold, Leaks, Threats
Jeff Sessions

Crackdown on Leakers Ramps Up With NYT Journalist Targeted in Leaks Investigation

Journalists often publish information taken from leaked classified documents. Does the First Amendment protect them from prosecution for doing so? The Supreme Court has not considered that exact question, but Bartnicki v. Vopper suggests that journalists would indeed be protected as long as they were innocent recipients of the information—that is, they did not participate in or encourage the illegal activity of leaking classified information. Under the Espionage Act of 1917, the government would have to prove that the journalists published with the intent to hurt the United States, a requirement that would likely be difficult to satisfy. The leakers, of course, do risk prosecution, and journalists can be ensnared in an investigation to discover the names of the confidential sources who provided the information to them. Aggressive prosecution of leakers began under President Obama – with the most famous case, Edward Snowden, still in hiding in Russia – and continues under President Trump. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is rumored to even be considering a lie detector test to ferret out leakers.

June 13, 2018 Below the Fold, Leaks, News Gathering
Trump Calls Leakers “Traitors and Cowards” In Aggressive Push Against “Fake News Media”

Trump Calls Leakers “Traitors and Cowards” In Aggressive Push Against “Fake News Media”

Trump continued making a connection between fake news and negative press coverage while simultaneously attacking leakers in his own Administration calling them “traitors” and “cowards.” Although CNN’s Brian Stelter points out Trump’s Justice Department “has prosecuted a few cases involving alleged leakers, not nearly as many as some media watchdogs feared, or as many as some Trump allies hoped,” calling out leakers as traitors chills a free press. FAW’s spotlight on leakers points out that “aggressive prosecution of leakers began under President Obama – with the most famous case, Edward Snowden, still in hiding in Russia – and continues under President Trump. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is rumored to even be considering a lie detector test to ferret out leakers.”

May 17, 2018 Leaks, Press, Threats, Top Stories
Is Wikileaks a News Organization Protected by the First Amendment?

Is Wikileaks a News Organization Protected by the First Amendment?

Wikileaks role in the 2016 U.S. Presidential elections continues to be investigated even as leakers face increasing recriminations under the Trump administration. What is next for Julian Assange and the tempest he unleashed? It depends on whether you think Assange is running a media organization or not. If he is, then the question is whether Wikileaks should be protected by freedom of the press? 

April 20, 2018 Below the Fold, Leaks, Threats
Fox News Sued For Fabrications in DNC Leaks Story

Fox News Sued For Fabrications in DNC Leaks Story

August 1, 2017: Lawsuit Alleges Fake News Over Fox’s Coverage of DNC Staffer’s Death Fox News ran a story in May, later retracted, that a Democratic National Committee staffer was behind the leak of tens of thousands of emails from the DNC to WikiLeaks. The staffer, Seth Rich, was fatally shot in July 2016 in a robbery gone awry according[Read More…]

August 3, 2017 Leaks, Top Stories
The End of White House Press Briefings?

The End of White House Press Briefings?

Truncated, often truculent, and now off-camera, White House Press Briefings no longer provide a link to the Administration’s thinking, so what’s their worth?

July 12, 2017 Access, Leaks, News Gathering
New Revelations of Trump’s Threats to Jail Journalists Emerge

New Revelations of Trump’s Threats to Jail Journalists Emerge

What are the ramifications of President’s Trump’s threats to imprison journalists?

May 17, 2017 Leaks, Top Stories