Former Senate intelligence committee staffer, James A. Wolfe, indicted for lying to FBI about leaks

Prosecutors say he was in regular and suspicious contact with multiple journalists who covered the committee, including meeting them at restaurants, in bars, private residences and in a Senate office building.

Washington Times

The former top security officer for the Senate intelligence committee was arrested Thursday and charged with lying about leaks of classified information.

The indictment indicates James A. Wolfe leaked information to reporters on Trump campaign figure Carter Page.

The charges — three counts of lying to the FBI about contacts with reporters — are a black eye for the intelligence committee, some of whose members have been among the fiercest critics of Mr. Trump.

Mr. Wolfe’s arrest comes the same day that the New York Times said the Justice Department had seized years worth of email and phone records belonging to one of its reporters, Ali Watkins.

Ms. Watkins had a three-year romantic relationship with Mr. Wolfe, and she appears to be a person referred to in the indictment as Reporter #2.

The indictment says Mr. Wolfe, now 58, started a relationship in 2013 with an undergraduate student who was also working as an intern with a news service.

They exchanged tens of thousands of text messages over the next few years, according to the document, including one message where he admits he “always tried to give you as much information that I could and to do the right thing with it so you could get that scoop before anyone else.”

The two also exchanged a number of messages on April 3, 2017, the indictment says — the day Ms. Watkins, then a reporter at BuzzFeed, wrote a story saying Mr. Page “met with a Russian spy.”

The indictment says Reporter #2 then appeared on a national cable television network to talk about the story — and Ms. Watkins appeared on MSNBC that night.

“Approximately 90 minutes later, Wolfe and Reporter #2 had a phone call lasting 15 minutes,” the indictment says.

Roughly one month before the Buzzfeed article appeared, the Senate intelligence committee received a classified document detailing Mr. Page’s activities. That day, Mr. Wolfe — who received, maintained and managed the document — exchanged 82 text messages with Reporter #2 as well as a 28-minute phone call later that evening, according to the indictment.

The indictment also says Mr. Wolfe leaked information, apparently also about Mr. Page, to someone identified as Reporter #3.

And the indictment says Mr. Wolfe reached out to someone identified as Reporter #4 and offered to be a source, regularly sharing messages and phone calls.

On Dec. 15, 2017, FBI agents presented Mr. Wolfe with a questionnaire about his relationship with reporters, according to an indictment unsealed Thursday. Mr. Wolfe, under the penalty of perjury, told the investigators had never had a personal relationship with any reporter.

He also denied being a source for a story, adding that he did not know who was leaking classified information to the press.



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2 Responses to Former Senate intelligence committee staffer, James A. Wolfe, indicted for lying to FBI about leaks

  1. auscitizenmom says:

    I guess these are going to come out one or two at a time so we have time to digest the details connections.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lucille says:

    June 8, 2018
    Mata Hari journalism? Veteran Senate Intelligence Committee staffer, in romantic relationship with NYT reporter, arrested in probe of leaks
    By Thomas Lifson

    Liked by 1 person

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