Leeds wiped out their 15-point deficit as Dennis Wise's side secured their fifth successive league win.
Tresor Kandol scored his fourth goal of the season with a powerful header after 20 minutes to set Leeds on their way.
Just past the half-hour mark Richie Barker's header hit the crossbar and appeared to cross the line before Leeds goalkeeper Casper Ankergren cleared.
Leeds' second goal came just after the break when Jermaine Beckford exquisitely chipped Jan Budtz.
Leeds: Ankergren, Richardson, Marques, Heath, Clapham, Prutton, Hughes, Howson (Huntington 90), Carole (Westlake 83), Beckford, Kandol.
Subs Not Used: Bayly, Parker, Ameobi.
Goals: Kandol 20, Beckford 50.
Hartlepool: Budtz, McCunnie, Nelson, Antwi , Elliott (Gibb 68), Monkhouse, Liddle, Humphreys, Brown, Barker, Moore (Porter 74). Subs Not Used: Lee-Barrett, Clark, Foley.
Booked: Nelson, Antwi.
Ref: Pat Miller (Bedfordshire).