DOJ Has Multiple Criminal Leak Investigations to the Media Underway

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Posted: May 01, 2019 2:30 PM
DOJ Has Multiple Criminal Leak Investigations to the Media Underway

Last week Senators Chuck Grassley and Ron Johnson sent a letter to Attorney General Bill Barr. In it, they raised concerns FBI agents may have met with members of the Trump transition team with a purpose of gathering intelligence for leaks to the media. The agents in question are former FBI lawyer Lisa Page and intelligence agent Peter Strzok. 

"The Justice Department Inspector General’s review of the Clinton investigation found 'profound concerns about the volume and extent of unauthorized media contacts by FBI personnel.' It appears the same happened during the Russia investigation. Leaks to the media about ongoing investigations undermine the ability of investigators to properly investigate. Moreover, sensitive leaks to the media while members of congress performing constitutionally mandated oversight are kept in the dark is unacceptable," the letter states.

"We note that a number of news outlets have reported sensitive information related to the investigation into alleged Russian collusion with the Trump campaign," it continues. "Those reports have revealed sensitive information focusing on the FBI sending informants to meet with Trump advisors; a warrant to surveil Carter Page; and the United Kingdom signal intelligence agency briefing former CIA Director John Brennan on alleged communications between Trump’s campaign and Russian officials, among other things."

During testimony in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday, Barr confirmed the Department of Justice is taking the matter seriously. 

"There have been a number of leaks coming out of the Justice Department and FBI during high profile investigations. The Inspector General found that during the Department's investigation of Hillary Clinton for mishandling highly classified information there was a culture of unauthorized media contacts. During the Russian investigation, the leaks continued. Leaks undermine the ability of investigators to investigate. Further, leaks to the papers while Congress' questions to the Department go unanswered in unacceptable. What are you doing to investigate unauthorized media contacts by the Department and FBI officials during the Russian investigation," Grassley asked.

"We have multiple criminal leak investigations underway," Barr said. 

Last year FBI Agent Peter Strzok, who initially led the investigation into the 2016 election and Russia, was fired for sending inappropriate text messages about taking down President Trump. He claims he did nothing wrong.