Could reporters be hunted down if Trump goes after leakers?

Could reporters be hunted down if Trump goes after leakers?

[Ed. – The Magic 8 Ball says, ‘Yes. Find a different line of work.’]

For those who care about press rights in America, President Trump’s words last week were stunning and disturbing.

The news media is not merely “scum,” as he has said many times before, but now “the enemy of the American People.”

This tweeted pronouncement, with its authoritarian echoes, came soon after Trump’s vow to stamp out the unauthorized flow of intelligence-community information to journalists. “I’ve actually called the Justice Department to look into the leaks,” he said. “Those are criminal leaks.”

Add up these two elements and you get a troubling question: Will the Trump administration’s crackdown on leaks include journalists as well as their sources?

Some knowledgeable lawyers and academics say it’s unlikely.

“Right now, it’s a deviant practice, certainly not in the ordinary course of business, to subpoena a journalist,” said David Pozen, a Columbia University law professor who wrote the landmark study “The Leaky Leviathan: Why the Government Condemns and Condones Unlawful Disclosures of Information.”

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