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Justice: Espionage Laws Could Be Used to Prosecute Journalists in Leak Cases

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The Justice Department’s Criminal Division chief told Congress, in a just published response to Senate Judiciary Committee questioning, that the espionage statutes could be used to prosecute journalists who publish leaked classified information. Matthew Friedrich said the statutes “do not provide an exemption for any profession or class of persons, including journalists.” He said he was unaware of any case holding that improper classification might be a defense for publishing the information. (8/1/07)