(National Sentinel) Justice: Last fall Attorney General Jeff Sessions warned that the Justice Department would be cracking down on leakers.
President Donald Trump repeated that threat in May after someone leaked disparaging comments a now-fired White House staffer made about ailing Sen. John McCain of Arizona.
“The so-called leaks coming out of the White House are a massive over exaggeration put out by the Fake News Media in order to make us look as bad as possible. With that being said, leakers are traitors and cowards, and we will find out who they are!” the president tweeted.
The so-called leaks coming out of the White House are a massive over exaggeration put out by the Fake News Media in order to make us look as bad as possible. With that being said, leakers are traitors and cowards, and we will find out who they are!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 14, 2018
These are no longer merely threats.
As reported by The New York Times, former Senate Intel Committee aide, James A. Wolfe, 57, was arrested Thursday after the DoJ conducted an investigation into classified information leaks to reporters.
Wolfe, reports said, lied repeatedly to FBI investigators and others about his contact with reporters. He also made false statements.
In addition, the Justice Department seized years’ worth of phone records from one Times reporter, Ali Watkins, with whom Wolfe was having a romantic relationship.
The Times noted:
Mr. Wolfe, the Intelligence Committee’s director of security, was slated to appear before a federal judge on Friday in Washington. Reached on Thursday evening before his arrest, Mr. Wolfe declined to comment.
Mr. Wolfe’s case led to the first known instance of the Justice Department going after a reporter’s data under President Trump. The seizure was disclosed in a letter to the Times reporter, Ali Watkins, who had been in a three-year relationship with Mr. Wolfe. The seizure suggested that prosecutors under the Trump administration will continue the aggressive tactics employed under President Barack Obama.
In his role with the committee, Mr. Wolfe was responsible for safeguarding classified and other sensitive information shared with lawmakers. He stopped performing committee work in December and retired in May.
Court documents describe Mr. Wolfe’s communications with four reporters — including Ms. Watkins — using encrypted messaging applications. It appeared that the F.B.I. was investigating how Ms. Watkins learned that Russian spies in 2013 had tried to recruit Carter Page, a former Trump foreign policy adviser.
She published an article for BuzzFeed News on April 3, 2017, about the attempted recruitment of Mr. Page in which he confirmed the contacts.
Watkins is a former national security reporter for Buzzfeed and Politico.
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