Trump Praises Arrest of Former Senate Committee Aide in Leaks Inquiry
Trump Praises Arrest of Former Senate Committee Aide in Leaks Inquiry
Ex-Senate intel aide charged after DOJ seizes reporter's records
08 June, 2018, 20:27
NYT said yesterday, it learnt of a February letter informing Watkins that her records had been obtained, adding that those records covered a period before she started working for NYT late past year.
After FBI agents presented photos to Wolfe of him and Watkins together, he admitted to having a personal relationship with the reporter and confessed that he had lied about not sharing information with her.
According to the DOJ, Wolfe, security director for almost 30 years, had all the information classified "secret" and "top secret" provided by the Executive Branch, including the U.S. Intelligence Community, to the SSCI.
The FBI was conducting a criminal investigation "into multiple unauthorized disclosures of classified information to one or more members of the news media", according to the indictment.
Wolfe, a Maryland resident, was expected to make his first court appearance on Friday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland.
Wolfe was accused of using his personal cellphone, his congressional email account and the encrypted apps Signal and WhatsApp to communicate sensitive information to reporters.
The statement said the committee "takes this matter extremely seriously" but that it would "in no way interfere" with the panel's ongoing investigation of Russian election interference and possible links to the Trump campaign.
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An ex-Senate Intelligence Committee security director was arrested Tuesday for allegedly lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, who were investigating unauthorized intelligence leaks to reporters, the Justice Department revealed. A few weeks later, "REPORTER #2" published an online article that revealed the identity of "MALE-1".
Wolfe allegedly was in contact with the reporter and exchanged tens of thousands of electronic communications and often daily phone calls, according to the indictment.
It said Watkins had been in a three-year romantic relationship with Wolfe.
Buzzfeed Editor in Chief Ben Smith said on Twitter that the online publication is "deeply troubled by what looks like a case of law enforcement interfering with a reporter's constitutional right to gather information about her own government".
"Whether it was really necessary here will depend on the nature of the investigation and the scope of any charges", he said, according to the AP.
"The Attorney General has stated that investigations and prosecutions of unauthorized disclosure of controlled information are a priority of the Department of Justice". "It is hoped that these charges will be a warning to those who might lie to law enforcement to the detriment of the United States".
He also denied being a source for stories, adding that he did not know who was leaking classified information to the press.
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