Whoever leaked the transcripts of President Trump’s phone calls with foreign leaders to the press likely committed a crime, former prosecutors said Thursday – as lawmakers called for rooting out the culprit.
“The unauthorized release of these documents to the press is a crime,” Joe diGenova, the former U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, told Fox News. “The series of acts involving release of notes of the president’s conversations with foreign leaders, and these transcripts, are a serious threat to national security.”
Based on the leaked documents, The Washington Post reported new details Thursday about Trump's tense phone calls in late January with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. In the former, Trump reportedly told the Mexican leader to stop publicly saying his government would not pay for a border wall.
The newspaper said the transcripts had notes indicating they had been classified by the chief of staff on the National Security Council. The Post said it obtained full transcripts, which were “produced by White House staff” and based on records kept by White House note-takers.
“There is a federal statute that makes it a crime, a federal crime, to disseminate classified information to an unauthorized person,” Doug Burns, a former federal prosecutor in New York, said in a phone interview.