If – through his tweets – Trump revealed secret government information about surveillance, he exercised an exclusive privilege afforded only to the president as the ultimate declassification authority.

If any other government employee had single-handedly made such revelations they could see prison time for potentially damaging U.S. national security, a former official with intimate knowledge of the government secrecy policies told ABC News.

“It’s an extremely serious offense,” ABC News Contributor Matt Olsen, who is the former director of the National Counterterrorism Center and a former FBI counsel, explained.

“Anyone who would reveal the existence of a wiretap would violate federal law,” he said. “It is against federal law to disclose the existence of a wiretap, whether that wiretap is for criminal purposes or intelligence purposes.”