Jim Wolfe was the Director of Security for the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI – pronounced “sissy” in the govt) for 29 years. The SSCI oversees all intelligence activities and programs of the US Intelligence Community. The press release states,
Wolfe was entrusted with access to classified SECRET and TOP SECRET information provided by the Executive Branch, including the U.S. Intelligence Community, to the SSCI. In this position, Wolfe was responsible for safeguarding all classified information in the possession of the SSCI.
57 year-old Wolfe, who was/is? married, had a four-year romantic relationship with a national security reporter in her 20’s. Four years of pillow talk. The Director of Security for SSCI told her,“I always tried to give you as much Information (sic) that I could.”
Longtime Director of Security for the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Accused of Lying to FBI About Repeated Contacts with Reporters
WASHINGTON – A former staff employee of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) has been indicted and arrested on charges of making false statements to special agents of the FBI during the course of an investigation into the unlawful disclosure of classified information, announced Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers, U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Jessie K. Liu, and Timothy M. Dunham, Special Agent in Charge of the Counterintelligence Division of the FBI’s Washington Field Office.
James A. Wolfe, 57, of Ellicott City, Md., was indicted by a federal grand jury on three counts of violating Title 18, United States Code, Section 1001. At the time he made the alleged false statements to the FBI, Wolfe was Director of Security for the SSCI, a position he held for approximately 29 years.
As SSCI Director of Security, Wolfe was entrusted with access to classified SECRET and TOP SECRET information provided by the Executive Branch, including the U.S. Intelligence Community, to the SSCI. In this position, Wolfe was responsible for safeguarding all classified information in the possession of the SSCI.
Wolfe is alleged to have lied to FBI agents in December 2017 about his repeated contacts with three reporters, including through his use of encrypted messaging applications.
Wolfe is further alleged to have made false statements to the FBI about providing two reporters with non-public information related to the matters occurring before the SSCI.
“The Attorney General has stated that investigations and prosecutions of unauthorized disclosure of controlled information are a priority of the Department of Justice. The allegations in this indictment are doubly troubling as the false statements concern the unauthorized disclosure of sensitive and confidential information. Those entrusted with sensitive information must discharge their duties with honesty and integrity, and that includes telling the truth to law enforcement.” —Assistant Attorney General John C. Demers
“Mr. Wolfe’s alleged conduct is a betrayal of the extraordinary public trust that had been placed in him“It is hoped that these charges will be a warning to those who might lie to law enforcement to the detriment of the United States.” —U.S. Attorney Jessie K. Liu
“All individuals in positions of trust must be held to the highest of standards, as the American public deserves no less. As alleged in this indictment, Mr. Wolfe failed to meet those standards in his repeated lies to federal agents concerning the unauthorized disclosure of information. His arrest demonstrates that this conduct will not be tolerated, and those that engage in it will be held accountable.” —Special Agent in Charge Timothy M. Dunham
Wolfe was arrested on June 7, 2018, and is expected to make his first appearance Friday, June 8, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland. The case is entitled United States v. James A. Wolfe, and the matter has been assigned to the Honorable Ketanji Brown Jackson in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
The charges in the indictment are merely allegations, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. The maximum penalty for each count of making a false statement to federal law enforcement agents is five years in prison. The maximum statutory sentences are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes. The sentencing of the defendant, if he is later convicted, will be determined by the court after considering the advisory Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
The investigation into this matter is being conducted by the FBI’s Washington Field Office. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys for the District of Columbia, with assistance from the Counterintelligence and Export Control Section, National Security Division of the U.S. Department of Justice.
. . . . .Earlier Thursday, the New York Times revealed that federal investigators had seized years’ worth of email and phone records relating to one of its reporters, Ali Watkins. She previously had a three-year romantic relationship with Wolfe, the Times reported, adding that the records covered a period of time before she joined the paper.
Wolfe allegedly admitted to FBI agents in 2017 that he lied about his relationship with a reporter identified in court papers as “REPORTER #2.” He admitted the relationship after he was shown photos of the two of them together, according to the indictment.
Wolfe was allegedly in contact with “REPORTER #2” and they exchanged tens of thousands of electronic communications and often daily phone calls. He would also meet at the reporter’s apartment, court papers alleged.
Wolfe had extensive contact with reporters about “MALE-1,” who was reportedly identified as Carter Page, a Trump campaign adviser.
Wolfe received classified information about “MALE-1” on the same day he exchanged 82 text messages with “REPORTER #2,” according to the indictment. A few weeks later, “REPORTER #2″ published an online article that revealed the identity of “MALE-1.”
On April 3, 2017, Watkins’ byline appeared on a BuzzFeed article that revealed that Page had met with a Russian intelligence operative in 2013.
Wolfe allegedly called “REPORTER #2” nearly a half-hour after the story went live and had a phone conversation for about seven minutes.
In December 2017, Wolfe allegedly messaged “REPORTER #2.”
“I’ve watched your career take off even before you ever had a career in journalism. … I always tried to give you as much Information (sic) that I could and to do the right thing with it so you could get that scoop before anyone else. … I always enjoyed the way that you would pursue a story,like nobody else was doing in my hal1way (sic). I felt like I was part of your excitement and was always very supportive of your career and the tenacity that you exhibited to chase down a good story,” the message read, according to the indictment.
Watkins worked previously for BuzzFeed, Politico and McClatchy. . . (read more)
A former Senate Intelligence Committee aide was arrested on Thursday in an investigation of classified information leaks where prosecutors also secretly seized years’ worth of a New York Times reporter’s phone and email records. . . . 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. . . . (read more)
A Former Senior Senate Intelligence Committee Staffer Has Been Charged With Lying About Contacts With Reporters (BuzzFeed)
James Wolfe is accused of leaking nonpublic information to reporters and then lying to the FBI about those contacts.
. . . . According to the indictment against Wolfe, the FBI has been conducting a criminal investigation into “multiple” leaks of classified information to members of the press since last year. Wolfe learned about the investigation in October, and participated in a voluntary interview with FBI agents in mid-December, according to charging papers. During the interview, prosecutors said Wolfe was shown a copy of an article written by three unnamed reporters, including one referred to as “Reporter #1,” that contained classified information provided to the Senate Intelligence Committee about an unidentified person known as “Male-1.”
Wolfe indicated in a written questionnaire that he had not had any contact with the three reporters. He also indicated that he did not have regular electronic communications with reporters. But prosecutors alleged that Wolfe communicated with multiple reporters using email and various messaging applications such as Signal and WhatsApp. He also allegedly “met clandestinely” with reporters in person, according to the indictment.
According to the indictment, Wolfe was asked about an article written by another reporter, referred to as “Reporter #2” and believed to be Ali Watkins based on publicly available information, that included information provided to the Senate Intelligence Committee, and he denied knowing that reporter’s sources. Wolfe was confronted with photos showing him and the reporter together, and he admitted he had a personal relationship with the reporter, but denied providing the reporter with classified information or other nonpublic information that he got through his position with the committee, prosecutors said.
The indictment alleges that on the same day in March 2017 that the Senate Intelligence Committee received a classified document about Male-1 — a document that Wolfe maintained for the committee — Wolfe exchanged 82 text messages with Reporter #2 and had a 28-minute phone call. Several weeks later, on April 3, 2017, that reporter published a story revealing Male-1’s identity, according to the indictment.
Watkins on April 3, 2017, published a story on BuzzFeed News identifying former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page as a person referred to as “Male-1” in the transcript of a recorded conversation in 2013 among members of a Russian spy ring; the conversation was about trying to recruit Male-1. Page confirmed to BuzzFeed News that he was Male-1. The indictment against Wolfe states that Reporter #2 appeared on a “national cable television show” to discuss the April 3 article; Watkins appeared on MSNBC that day to discuss the Carter Page story.
Prosecutors accused Wolfe of providing nonpublic information to Reporter #2 and to a third reporter, Reporter #3, and also regularly communicating with a fourth reporter, Reporter #4. . . . . (read more)
The former Senate Intelligence Committee staffer indicted for lying to the FBI about his leaks to the media was charged in 2004 with domestic violence, court documents show.
James A. Wolfe, 57, was charged on June 25, 2004 in a Maryland domestic violence case involving his wife. Maryland court records also show that Wolfe is listed in a June 2003 case that resulted in a protective order being placed against him.
Wolfe was also a defendant in a 2006 civil claim from Tower Federal Credit Union. Maryland court documents show list the U.S. Senate Hart office building as Wolfe’s mailing address.
The 29-year Senate veteran’s criminal history raises numerous questions about his Senate work, which allowed him access to Top Secret information. . .
. . . Wolfe was arrested on Thursday and charged with three counts of lying to the FBI about his contacts with reporters. While working as director of security at the Senate Intel Committee, the 29-year Senate veteran had a four-year romantic relationship with Ali Watkins, a reporter who published an article that appears based on information from Wolfe.
The new indictment against Wolfe notes that he was in contact with Watkins when she published an April 3, 2017 article identifying former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page as a witness in an investigation into a Russian spy ring.
In one message cited in the indictment, Wolfe told Watkins that he “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 was also a source for reporters at other news outlets, including on a story about a subpoena issued by the Senate panel against Page. . . (read more)
New York Times reporter Ali Watkins’ past tweets are raising eyebrows after revelations she had a three-year romantic relationship with a Senate Intelligence Committee aide now accused by federal prosecutors of leaking sensitive information to journalists, including herself. . . . (more)