Trump Says 'Leaker' Charged With Lying to FBI Is 'Very Important'

Trump Says 'Leaker' Charged With Lying to FBI Is 'Very Important'

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr and the top Democrat on the committee, Sen.

Wolfe was a longtime intelligence panel staffer and served as director of security for the committee, a position that gave him access to classified information. According to the authorities, Mr. Wolfe made false statements to the F.B.I. about providing two of them with sensitive information related to the committee's work. Wolfe, 57, worked for the committee for almost three decades under both Republican and Democratic leadership. The Obama administration's ruthless efforts to track down and prosecute leakers (or at least those who leaked without the administration's approval) got significant media coverage during his administration.

Lawyers and journalism experts have argued that the Espionage Act applies to the person who leaks the classified information - not to publishers or journalists. 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.

In a separate instance, the indictment said that Wolfe used the encrypted messaging app Signal to inform a female journalist he had served a person with a subpoena in the Russian Federation investigation, the government said.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in August that the Justice Department was "reviewing our policies affecting media subpoenas".

The FBI asserted that Wolfe had helped Watkins with articles while they were dating but Watkins said Wolfe was not a source of classified information during their relationship, according to the Times.

Wolfe was allegedly in contact Ali Watkins, with whom he also had a three-year romantic relationship.

Former Senate Intelligence Committee staffer James Wolfe appears in federal court in Baltimore.

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Sens. Richard Burr, R. -N.C., and Mark Warner, D-Va., the chair and vice chair, said they'd learned of the investigation late a year ago and had "fully cooperated" with the authorities since then. Burr and Warner added that the Wolfe case will "in no way" interfere with the committee's ongoing probe into Russia's interference in the 2016 US election.

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

"Reporters can't leak. You cannot leak classified information". At the same time, the admission of a personal relationship between the reporter and the source raised questions about journalistic ethics.

Watkins' byline appeared on an April 2017 BuzzFeed article that revealed Trump campaign adviser Carter Page had met with a Russian intelligence operative in 2013.

The records seized by the Justice Department span her time at those news outlets, as well as her undergraduate years at Temple University, when she was a reporting intern in Washington. "We fear it could be an opening salvo in an ongoing battle over reporters' ability to protect their sources". "Freedom of the press is a cornerstone of democracy, and communications between journalists and their sources demand protection", said Eileen Murphy, a Times spokeswoman. "This should be a grave concern to anyone who cares about an informed citizenry". He was Watkins' boss when she worked at BuzzFeed, and he defended the integrity of her work. "It's hard to imagine that the Justice Department did that in this case", Miller said.

The prosecution of Wolfe follows intense pressure from Trump for the Justice Department to crack down on leaks. Wolfe's case is the first known instance of the Justice Department seizing a reporter's data under the Trump administration.

"It's very interesting that they caught a leaker.it's a very important leaker", the President said while speaking to reporters at the White House.

DiGenova (pictured above left, beside Washington Examiner columnist Byron York), who was US attorney for the District of Columbia under President Ronald Reagan, told Fox News host Laura Ingraham Friday on "The Ingraham Angle" that Wolfe could face a lengthy prison sentence if convicted.

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