Many see the issue in black or white terms. The hard-core Trumpsters and Tea Party-types seem to think the leakers are all traitors, no exceptions. "We need to find those who spilled the beans about President Trump giving away intelligence secrets and send them to prison for life + 20 years." Ummm....what about the fact that Prez Trump GAVE AWAY INTELLIGENCE SECRETS? That doesn't seem to bother them.
Then the crowd who has no love for Mr. Trump thinks that the leakers are all saints and deserve the Medal Of Honor. Whether it's tidbits about whether the President's feet stink or whether he has a Russian KGB mistress on the side, it's all good. Unless it smudges the reputation of one of their favorite
It seems to me there is a huge gray area not being considered, namely WHAT is being leaked. If the leaker sees what is going on behind closed doors and honestly believes a crime is being committed, or if they see a blatant misuse of power, and if they also see an active coverup in progress, then I can understand why they might want to put their career and maybe even their freedom on the line for the good of the country.
A good example would be Mark Felt, the #2 man at the FBI during the infamous Watergate scandal back in '72. He knew what was going on, saw the nefarious efforts being taken to protect President Nixon, and knew it was wrong. His conscience told him to feed tips to Washington Post journalists Woodward and Bernstein, enabling them to get the truth out to the American people. If his identity had been known he would surely have lost his job at the FBI and perhaps even been prosecuted. (His identity was kept secret for 30 years.)
This contrasts to leakers like Wikileaks' Julian Assange. He isn't leaking what he does out of some sort of righteous indignation of a wrong going unpunished. He's just a prick. He wants to pick and choose who he hurts and who he helps based on his personal likes and dislikes. He just loves causing trouble and sticking a sharp stick in the eye of anyone who he feels slighted him or someday might slight him. Plus he's a misogynist.
IMO, leakers can be both heroes (like Mr. Felt) or villians (like Mr. Assange), depending on their motives. So far, the leakers who are coming out with disturbing info regarding President Trump and his associates and their actions vis a vis Russia seem to fall into the category of the former. The copycat leakers likely to eventually show up with nothing more than embarrassing gossip looking for their 15 minutes of fame deserve the latter title.
Let's look at motives carefully before we assign either medals or prison uniforms.