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Donald Trump to FBI: Find leakers now!

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of this site. This site does not give financial, investment or medical advice.

US President Trump is piling the pressure on to the FBI to find the leakers from within the US intelligence community who brought down General Flynn and who have been trying to destabilise his administration.

In two toughly worded tweets he has taunted the FBI for failing to track the leakers previously, both under his administration and during previous administrations.

The background to these tweets is that there is almost certainly growing shock and dismay within the US intelligence community that the President is treating the leaks as a criminal matter.  As Trump himself says in his tweets, members of the US intelligence community have been leaking information to the media for years, and have got into the habit of thinking they can do so with impunity.  Moreover there is no doubt that the Obama administration actually encouraged them to leak as part of its system of news management.

This President is different and – as I have written previously – the leakers have put themselves in his power by crossing over into outright illegality in their campaign to bring down General Flynn.

That the FBI is for its part horrified at being ordered to carry out the leak investigation is completely unsurprising since – as Trump says in his tweets – some of the leakers who were involved in bringing down General Flynn almost certainly belong to the FBI.

It is the FBI which listens in to the telephone conversations of Russian diplomats in the US.  Whilst it is possible that the contents of General Flynn’s conversation with Russian ambassador Kislyak were circulated by the FBI to other agencies of the US intelligence community, and that it was officials of those agencies rather than members of the FBI who then leaked their contents to the media, the news reports at the time suggest otherwise, and all but say that FBI agents were also involved in the leaks.

Ultimately if the President insists that the FBI carry out an investigation into the leaking of classified material – as he is doing – there is nothing the FBI can do but comply.

Moreover it is clear that the President is taking a personal interest in the conduct of the investigation.  Almost certainly he has told Attorney General Jeff Sessions that he wants to be kept regularly updated on its progress.  Indeed his tweets all but say as much.

As I have said previously, it should not be difficult to track down the leakers.  Not only do The New York Times and CNN know who they are – and are almost certainly required by law to tell the FBI who they are given that a serious federal felony has been committed – but they have left any number of clues around about their identities that ought to make it easy to track them down.   Besides it is likely that it is common knowledge within the US intelligence community and the FBI who they are.

If the President insists on a proper investigation – as he is doing – it is only a matter of time before they are caught.

In the meantime the investigation into the leaks the President has ordered has already had a chilling effect.  It is striking that the constant drip feed of leaks from the US intelligence community to the media has dried up completely since The New York Times’s phoney story of 14th February 2017 about supposed contacts between the Trump campaign and Russian intelligence agents.

When the President first made clear in his recent press conference that he wanted a criminal investigation into the leaks I said that all those involved were almost certainly calling their lawyers.  It is a virtual certainty that the lawyers advised them that there should be no more leaks at least whilst the investigation is underway.  As a result the leaks have stopped.


The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of this site. This site does not give financial, investment or medical advice.

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