by Frank Holmes, reporter
One of the ringleaders behind bogus stories pinning “collusion” charges on Donald Trump has entered a guilty plea in a U.S federal court—and the next stop is likely prison.
The Treasury Department mole illegally leaked confidential financial documents to try to make President Trump and his associates appear guilty of colluding with Russia during the 2016 election.
The employee, who authorities named as Natalie Mayflower Sours Edwards, had access to banking information that the federal government seized during investigations, while she served as a senior adviser at Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.
She now admits she broke the law to get her hands on documents about people on the outer edges of Trump’s circle, like Paul Manafort, his lobbyist partner Rick Gates, and Russian asset Maria Butina. Then she selectively farmed them out to the Fake News website BuzzFeed News — which published her claims like they were Gospel.
The dirty relationship was a win-win for the D.C. Swamp.
For about a year and a half, BuzzFeed News published her “bombshell” revelations, wrapped them up in an anti-Trump narrative, and pretended they came from a well-placed inside source. Edwards, in return, got to attack the president she was supposed to be serving.
To avoid notice Edwards, 41, used several aliases to peddle her secrets, calling herself “Natalie Sours,” “Natalie May Edwards,” and “May Edwards”… but real public servants were always one step behind her.
As soon as President Trump got sworn into office, he made rooting out the Deep State leakers, insiders, and careerists trying to sink his presidency priority number one. Edwards’ name soon came to the top of the list.
Federal agents caught her red-handed in October 2018 — literally holding a USB drive full of confidential documents.
Not only did the thumb drive have dirt on Manafort and his buddies but prosecutors say she loaded it up with “highly sensitive material relating to Russia, Iran, and the terrorist group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.”
Even when she got busted, Edwards tried to lie her way out of it. With a straight face, she claimed that all the BuzzFeed News stories were like her personal scrapbook of illegal financial documents that she had no business keeping.
Edwards claimed she was a “whistleblower,” and she only wanted these documents published in a false light for the sake of “record keeping.”
But when she tried to put that story over on the FBI, the agents laughed all the way to court.
The FBI report states that, during her interview, “Edwards told the interviewing agents, in sum and substance, that she is a ‘whistleblower,’” and she had “ reached out to congressional staffers” to tell her story.
There’s no telling which congressional offices she worked with to spread these anti-Trump claims… or if they may have broken the law themselves.
But FBI agents said the stories Edwards concocted as part of her whistleblower complaint were “unrelated” to the ones she fed BuzzFeed.
Prosecutors also told the court that Edwards lied about not knowing these reports would end up in the media.
They charged her with conspiracy, which could land her in prison for up to five years.
She eventually threw in the towel.
This week, Edwards pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy in exchange for a lighter sentence… and she still almost blew it.
At first, Edwards refused to admit she broke the law, but the judge made her say she knew what she did was illegal and formally apologize.
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The judge will decide how much time she serves in her sentencing hearing on June 9.
FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge William Sweeney Jr. said at the time of the arrest that Edwards “was entrusted with sensitive government information” and “violated that trust when she made several unauthorized disclosures to the media.”
“Today’s action demonstrates that those who fail to protect the integrity of government information will be rightfully held accountable for their behavior,” he added.
But not so fast—she may just find a way to get by scot-free after all.
Edward’s plea bargain recommends that she serve anywhere from six months in prison…to no jail time at all.
And the judge who will sentence her is Gregory H. Woods, who worked in the Clinton Justice Department and was named a federal judge by Barack Obama.
The Deep State may just pull it out one more time.
If she doesn’t serve time, millions of Americans will believe that there’s a two-tiered justice system in the United States—one for the rich and powerful, and those who do their bidding, and another for everybody else.
Frank Holmes is a veteran journalist and an outspoken conservative that talks about the news that was in his weekly article, “On The Holmes Front.”