The Obama administration has begun the process of opening a criminal investigation into who allegedly leaked classified documents about the federal government’s secret surveillance programs, Fox News reported.
A source “familiar with the high-level discussions” told Fox that Director of National Intelligence James Clapper has filed a “criminal report” with the FBI and the Justice Department, the first step in starting the process.
“The Department reviews any referrals it receives from the intelligence community consistent with established procedures for determining whether investigation is warranted,” a Justice Department source told Fox.
The Obama administration has taken a hard line against government leaks and whistleblowers. A White House spokesman told reporters on Saturday there was a review underway to determine “the potential damage” done by the “very disturbing leaks.”
“We’re still in the early stages of this,” spokesman Ben Rhodes said, adding that it would be addressed by the Justice Department “in the coming days.”
Clapper on Saturday sharply criticized the media for what he called a “rush to publish” information about the surveillance programs, which he said resulted in “significant misimpressions” about what the government actually does.