Washington dc is currently engulfed in a serious debate about the report that President Donald Trump shared highly sensitive material to Russian diplomats.
However, legal analysts and secrecy experts insists that Trump have the power to disclose classified information, making them immune from prosecution.
However, the decision of Trump to share sensitive material with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Ambassador Sergey Kislyak has potentially serious consequences.
Mark Zaid, an attorney specializing in national security matters, said “If we get to the point where our closest allies refuse to share this information, that would be the worst outcome imaginable,” Zaid said.
According to Washington Post, the material disclosed “had been provided by a U.S. partner under terms of an intelligence-sharing agreement, according to the report. The identity of the country that provided the information was not disclosed in the Post report.
“The president has the power to declassify our intelligence,” said Michael McFaul, the former U.S. ambassador to Russia. “He does not have the authority to declassify unilaterally intelligence provided to us by other countries.”
While violations of intelligence sharing agreements are not crimes, they are subject to sanctions from individual countries, including the complete nullification of the information sharing agreements, Zaid said. As a result, the U.S. could be blocked from a range of critical information, from intelligence about terrorist plots to the whereabouts of cyber criminals.