Donald Trump is not the only person in the administration who is obsessed with leaks. According to an internal report first flagged by the Washington Post, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos asked her department’s inspector general if she had grounds to prosecute employees who leaked information to the press.
Apparently, DeVos was furious that someone had leaked her department’s 2018 budget request to the Post (a fact that was also subsequently leaked to the Post). The request showed that, surprise surprise, DeVos wanted to make deep cuts to public education.
In the internal report, which was released by the Department of Education on its website, the inspector general wrote that it would be challenging to prosecute leakers since the department has “little” guidance in place on how employees should handle information. And, since what was leaked was not classified, the report said that “we were unable to find specific protections in criminal law for the information released in these incidents.”
The report recommended developing policies and trainings for employees, noting that doing so “may also increase the potential for the OIG to obtain a criminal prosecution in certain cases.”
DeVos is notoriously un-transparent and routinely shuts out the press. It’s not hard to imagine why, given, for instance, her very embarrassing 60 Minutes interview in which viewers were left questioning if she actually knew what a school was. This obsession with punishing leakers is only another attempt to crack down on preserving her image.