Who Is James A. Wolfe? Former Senate Staffer Indicted

11 June, 2018, 01:05 | Author: Carlos George
  • Ex-Senate intel aide charged after DOJ seizes reporter's records

The move by the Justice Department comes after President Trump complained for months about the constant leaks coming out of the West Wing.

"Strzok has been cooperating - that's why he didn't get fired right away", diGenova said.

"I'm a big, big believer in freedom of the press", Trump told reporters before departing for a trip to Canada.

He did not enter a plea and was released on several conditions, including that he turn in his passport, travel only in Maryland and, for legal proceedings, in the District of Columbia, and that he not make unauthorized disclosures of classified information.

Watkins denied that Wolfe was a source of classified information when they were dating, and says she disclosed the relationship to her editors at BuzzFeed News, Politico, and the New York Times at the time. While the info obtained may have been necessary to prove Wolfe lied to investigators, it does seem like a serious breach first amendment boundaries for nothing but vanilla "lied to the feds" charges.

In a joint statement, the chairman and vice chairman of the Senate panel, said while they were "troubled" by the charges against the former staffer, they did not believe that the allegations against Wolfe involved the mishandling of classified information. According to the Times, he stopped working with the Senate panel in December and retired in May. "But I'm also a believer in classified information has to remain classified".

New York Times spokeswoman Eileen Murphy said seizing a journalist's communications records is an alarming and potentially unconstitutional step in an investigation.

He also said that though he saw journalists every day as part of his job, he never spoke to them about anything related to the committee.

Court documents describe Mr. Wolfe's communications with four reporters, using encrypted messaging applications.

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"I've watched your career take off even before you ever had a career in journalism", he said, according to the indictment.

The criminal case arises from a December 2017 Federal Bureau of Investigation interview with Wolfe in which he denied having relationships with journalists or discussing committee business with them.

The indictment alleges Wolfe also had contact with three other reporters, referred to only as Reporter #1, Reporter #3 and Reporter #4.

Said the NBC story, "The Senate Intelligence Committee has subpoenaed documents and testimony from Carter Page as part of its investigation of Russia's alleged intervention in the 2016 election, a source directly familiar with the matter told NBC News".

Late on Thursday evening, the Senate Intelligence Chairman Richard Burr and Vice Chairman Mark Warner issued a statement, calling the news "disappointing". He has served as lead counsel in various national security cases, including the representation of a former House Intelligence Committee staffer accused of leaking classified information to the media.

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.

Elements within the government have always been suspected in engaging in selective leaks, including classified information, to the media in an effort to control the news narrative. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has said that the Justice Department may change some of those rules, which some prosecutors say have hindered investigations.

In a previous case under the Obama administration, a New York Times reporter faced criminal charges over a news source, but the case was later dropped.

Obtaining a reporter's records is considered an "extraordinary" measure that must be approved by top Justice Department officials, according to the guidelines for federal prosecutors. "Efforts by government that undermine this ability therefore represent a fundamental threat to press freedom", said CPJ's North America Program Coordinator Alexandra Ellerbeck from Kansas City.



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