Big news broke today about an arrest in regard to the leaking investigation being conducted by the FBI. And the purpose of the leaking appears to have been aimed at Carter Page, a Trump campaign adviser, to possibly embarrass the Trump campaign.
From Daily Caller:
Former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page was the primary target of a Senate Select Intelligence Committee (SSIC) staffer indicted for lying about his contacts with reporters, according to an indictment released on Thursday.
James Wolfe, the former director of security for the SSIC panel, was in contact with at least three reporters at around the time they published articles about Page, an energy consultant who is a central player in the investigations into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian government.
Wolfe, 57, is charged with lying to the FBI during a Dec. 15, 2017 interview about whether he knew the journalists and had contact with them on certain dates. In one case, Wolfe denied knowing a reporter with whom he had been in a romantic relationship for four years. He is also charged with lying about giving that reporter, Ali Watkins, information about Page.
The indictment cites one message that Wolfe wrote in December to Watkins, a former BuzzFeed reporter who now works for The New York Times.
“I 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,” Wolfe wrote to Watkins, whom he dated from December 2013 to December 2017.
As the director of security for the committee he frequently handled documents and had to contact witnesses to be interviewed by the committee.
The DOJ seized some of Watkin’s email and phone records in their investigation of Wolfe.
Wolfe handled court documents that ended up being cited in an April 3, 2017 BuzzFeed article written by Watkins that identified Page as “Male-1” in court filings in a Russian spy ring case, according to the indictment. The Senate panel received the documents from an executive branch agency on March 17, 2017, the indictment stated.
That same day, Wolfe exchanged 82 text messages with Watkins on the day the committee received the Page documents. The pair had 124 electronic communications the day the BuzzFeed article was published.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) seized Watkins’s email and phone records as part of an investigation into the Wolfe leaks. She has not been accused of wrongdoing in the case and has denied receiving classified information from Wolfe.
No evidence has ever been shown that Page colluded with the Russians or did anything illegal.
When Watkins broke the story about Page, she worked for Buzzfeed. And they were aware of her relationship with the Senate official. Yet they didn’t take her off the story or mention her conflict to the public.
Which raises the question how involved were they and what kind of ethics is that?
Wolfe has denied sharing any classified information or helping any reporters with leads, but his very message about giving her information to “get that scoop” appears to show otherwise.
Her tweets meanwhile showed that she and/or Wolfe may have had an antipathy to the Trump team.
Here’s one of the tweets claiming to be a ‘read’ from the committee. It blames ‘Trump lawyers’ for leaking, yet it was her boyfriend who was reportedly doing the leaking.
Watkins now works as a national security reporter for the NY Times.