Former Senate intel staffer being charged for lying about leaking to reporters

There’s quite a bit of buzz at The New York Times Thursday night, as the Justice Department seized the phone and email records of one of its reporters.

The Justice Department seized a Times reporter’s phone and email records, its first known use of such an aggressive tactic under President Trump

— The New York Times (@nytimes) June 8, 2018

Saagar Enjeti adds that the seizure of records is connected to former Senate intel staffer James Wolfe, who is reportedly being charged with lying to investigators about leaking to the press.

NEW: DOJ announces former Senate intel staffer James Wolfe is being charged with lying to investigators about leaking to reporters. He is the subject of the NYT story breaking tonight about FBI seizing of reporter @AliWatkins phone/email records

— Saagar Enjeti (@esaagar) June 8, 2018

DOJ press release on the indictment of former Senate Intel staffer James Wolfe says he has been charged for lying about leaking to reporters. Missing is any mention of whether the leaks themselves were illegal. Release does *not* mention classified leaks.

— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) June 8, 2018

And now James Wolfe, former head of security for the Senate Intelligence Committee, has been arrested and charged with lying to the FBI about contacts with three reporters:

— Eric Geller (@ericgeller) June 8, 2018

NBC News: Former member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, James Wolfe age 58, has been indicted and arrested on three counts of lying to federal agents about 3 contacts with reporters through encrypted communications. @JuliaEAinsley reports.

— Tom Winter (@Tom_Winter) June 8, 2018

James Wolfe indicted

— Ryan J. Reilly (@ryanjreilly) June 8, 2018

The reporter in question is Ali Watkins, who was formerly with Politico and BuzzFeed and now covers national security for The New York Times. According to The Times, Watkins was romantically involved with Wolfe for a time.

Check out indictment of Wolfe (@AliWatkins is “REPORTER #2”). She was dating her most important source, Senate Intel staffer now indicted for flagrant, years-long lawbreaking. Were her employers, Buzzfeed & NYT, aware of how she got her stories?

— Noah Pollak (@NoahPollak) June 8, 2018

WOW: Federal law enforcement secretly seized years of @nytimes reporter @AliWatkins phone & email records this year after asking her about her relationship with a Senate Intelligence official who is under investigation related to classified info leaks.

— Kenneth P. Vogel (@kenvogel) June 8, 2018

“The seizure — disclosed in a letter to the reporter, Ali Watkins — suggested that prosecutors under the Trump administration will continue the aggressive tactics employed under President Barack Obama.”

— Alex Burns (@alexburnsNYT) June 8, 2018

I’ve worked with @AliWatkins. She’s among the most dogged out there. This is a gross, gross use government power and chilling decision on the part of the Trump adm

— Sam Stein (@samstein) June 8, 2018

Here’s the @AliWatkins story referenced in the indictment.

— Jay Cooper (@jayacoop) June 8, 2018

Reading the indictment of James Wolfe is a chilling reminder of how deep the government can crawl if they’re determined to, no matter use of encrypted apps and extraordinary precautions. Journalists need to stay ahead of the curve and not get sloppy to protect sources

— Saagar Enjeti (@esaagar) June 8, 2018

Um …

The implication here is that the Senate Intelligence Committee’s former director of security didn’t know he needed to erase Signal messages.

— Matt Pearce 🦅 (@mattdpearce) June 8, 2018

Literally a day after criticizing Hannity for something he didn’t say (destroy messages on encrypted apps on your cell phone), guess what leading members of the media are saying indicted liar James Wolfe should have done?

— Robert Barnes (@Barnes_Law) June 8, 2018

Stay tuned.


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