Washington: US attorney general Jeff Sessions vowed to ramp up criminal investigations into leaks of sensitive information, his first comments on the issue since a series of tweets from President Donald Trump taunting him for being too weak.
“Some people need to go to jail," Sessions said on Thursday in an interview with Tucker Carlson of Fox News. “If we can make cases, they are going to jail."
Sessions said he hasn’t been happy with previous efforts to prosecute and investigate leaks, adding that the Justice Department during his short tenure so far is already increasing that number. He said he plans to hold a press conference next week on the issue.
“The president has every right to ask the Department of Justice to be more aggressive in that, and we intend to," Sessions said.
The turmoil between Trump and Sessions is part of a larger crisis at the White House that’s being mocked by critics while creating unforced distractions for the administration. For example, new White House Communications director Anthony Scaramucci assailed rivals Reince Priebus and Steve Bannon, two top aides to Trump, in a profane tirade that is sure to inflame a running and very public feud among top White House officials.
Sessions, however, gave no indication he plans to step down unless Trump fires him. Trump criticized Sessions for recusing himself from the federal criminal investigation into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election and whether the president or any of his associates colluded with Moscow.
Sessions said in Thursday’s interview he’s confident he made the right decision to recuse himself.
“I talked to experts in the Department of Justice," Sessions said. “An attorney general who doesn’t follow the law is not very effective in leading the Department of Justice." Bloomberg