On Thursday, a former Senate Intelligence Committee aide was charged in a probe on classified information leaks that included federal law enforcement officials secretly seizing multiple years’ worth of a New York Times reporter’s email and phone records.

Ex-Senate Intelligence Aide Arrested For Seizing Reporter’s Records

The former aide who was arrested is 57-year-old James Wolfe, who reportedly lied to investigators several times about his communications with three journalists. Federal authorities said Wolfe lied to the FBI about giving two of these reporters classified information regarding the intelligence committee’s actions.

Ali Watkins, the Times reporter whose records were taken, was notified of the seizure. Watkins had reportedly been in a three-year relationship with Wolfe, according to the newspaper. Wolfe stopped working for the Senate Intelligence Committee in December and then retired in May.

Among the classified intel Wolfe told Watkins is that in 2013, Russian spies attempted to recruit Carter Page, a former foreign policy adviser to President Donald Trump. Watkins started working for the Times in December 2017 to cover federal law enforcement. She previously worked for Politico and BuzzFeed, where she covered national security.

Wolfe also reportedly used an encrypted messaging app to relay information about Page to another reporter late last year. Wolfe denied communicating with a fourth reporter via his Senate email account over the past three years.

Here is a full copy of Wolfe’s indictment:

Wolfe James – Indictment – June 2018 by Bryan Logan on Scribd

Of course, taking a reporter’s communications records for sources is considered by many to be a violation of First Amendment rights, which include freedom of the press.

 

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