Administration

DeVos asked if leakers could be prosecuted: report

Greg Nash

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has asked her department’s Office of Inspector General if employees could be prosecuted for leaking non-public department info, The Washington Post reported on Wednesday.

An internal report in response said that it would be hard to prosecute such employees because the department has little policy or guidance about unauthorized disclosures.

The inquiry comes after Education Department employees leaked budget data to The Washington Post and unclassified information to Politico last year.

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The report, dated last month, said that the probe found challenges to pursuing criminal prosecution or “taking significant administrative actions against individuals responsible for the release of this type of information.”

Assistant Inspector General for Investigations Aaron Jordan — who authored the report — recommended that the department establish policies concerning leaks and also train employees about protecting and marking classified information, according to the Post.

Such actions, Jordan said, could make it easier for future leakers to be punished and could increase the inspector general’s ability to criminally prosecute leakers. Jordan noted that the department should consider whistleblower rights and protections when drafting new policies.

The Trump administration has been notorious for the large quantity of information it leaks to reporters.

DeVos rarely gives interviews and often doesn’t permit the press to cover department forums on important issues.

A recent interview she gave to “60 Minutes” was widely criticized for her struggles to answer basic questions about education policy.

Tags Betsy DeVos Education Department leakers Trump administration Whistleblower

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