Former Senate Intel aide indicted in DOJ leak case
Former Senate Intel aide indicted in DOJ leak case
Bill Clark CQ-Roll Call Group
08 June, 2018, 20:30
During a press conference past year, Sessions said the Justice Department was "reviewing policies affecting media subpoenas", asserting that reporters' abilities to disclose information had to be weighed against national security concerns.
The 11-page indictment does not name the reporters and does not name the person about whom classified information was leaked, but labels them as "Reporter #1", "Reporter #2", "Reporter #3", and "Reporter #4" as well as "MALE-1" respectively.
In a text message to the same unidentified reporter in December, Wolfe allegedly wrote: "I've watched your career take off even before you ever had a career in journalism".
About two weeks later, Watkins, then working for Buzzfeed, published a bombshell article reporting that former Trump adviser Carter Page had met with a Russian spy in 2013. Last year, he said the department was pursuing about three times as many leak investigations as were open at the end of the Obama administration.
Speaking on the matter of Wolfe's arrest and indictment Thursday night, Assistant Attorney General for National Security John Demers said, "Those entrusted with sensitive information must discharge their duties with honesty and integrity, and that includes telling the truth to law enforcement". She was contacted by Federal Bureau of Investigation agents last year about her three-year romantic relationship with Wolfe and told that the agents were investigating suspected information leaks to reporters, but she did not answer their questions, the Times reported Thursday.
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. I always tried to give you as much Information (sic) that I could and to do the right thing with it so you could get that scoop before anyone else.
In a statement, Watkins' attorney, Mark J. MacDougall, called the seizure of his client's telephone records "disconcerting". He also maintained a yearslong personal relationship with one reporter, which prosecutors say he lied about until being confronted with a photograph of him and the journalist.
"Whether it was really necessary here will depend on the nature of the investigation and scope of any charges", McDougall told the network.
Wolfe, 58, served as the panel's security director for 29 years, according to the feds.
The prosecution follows intense pressure from President Trump for the Justice Department to crack down on leaks to the media. Sessions said that authorities were prepared to stop "the culture of leaking".
"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", she added.
Wolfe was charged with three counts of making false statements during an investigation of "the unauthorized disclosure of information, " which was endorsed by the entirety of the Senate. "The allegations in this indictment are doubly troubling as the false statements concern the unauthorized disclosure of sensitive and confidential information".
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