21:22 GMT04 December 2020
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    Democratic US Congressmen Ted Lieu and Don Beyer released on Thursday a guide detailing the rights of federal government employees when they engage in public communications, issued in response to President Donald Trump’s recent pledge to crack down on illegal leaks.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — On Monday, former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn resigned from his post after the media reported based on leaked confidential information that Flynn misled senior Trump administration officials about the extent of his conversations with the Russian ambassador to the United States.

    "We believe the American people have a right to know how their government works," Lieu said in a statement. "The Trump administration has strapped a muzzle on federal agencies and attacked legitimate whistleblowers. Should federal employees wish to break that silence, we want this to be a resource for the safe and responsible disclosure of information."

    The guide "Speak Truth to Power" cites the First Amendment to the US Constitution and the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act as two crucial laws protecting the rights of federal employees who seek to legally share information and their opinions with the media.

    Beyer said in the statement that the Trump administration and its allies in Congress have from day one treated the federal workforce like a punching bag, all while issuing hostile threats to whistleblowers and dissenters.

    "In this age of gag orders and alternative facts, it’s important that we provide federal employees tools to ensure transparency," Beyer stated.

    Earlier in the month, media published abridged leaked transcripts of Trump's phone conversations with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, which stated their conversation ended tensely. Both Trump and Turnbull later refuted the reports.

    On Thursday, US House Speaker Paul Ryan called on the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee to launch an investigation into leaks of confidential information from the White House.


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    gag order, Ted Lieu, Michael Flynn, US
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