by Stephen Dietrich, Associate Publisher
For years, President Donald Trump’s administration has been under attack by the so-called “Deep State” — a suspected cabal of top institutional figures in the government that the president has claimed are undermining him through leaks to the mainstream media.
Trump pledged to crackdown on these leakers. On Thursday, the FBI made their biggest arrest in their investigation so far.
Longtime Senate Intelligence Committee staffer James A. Wolfe, 57, was arrested on charges that he repeatedly lied to federal investigators about contacts with reporters in the mainstream media.
FBI agents have also seized years worth of phone and email records from New York Times reporter Ali Watkins as evidence against Wolfe.
Court documents claim that Wolfe used encrypted messaging applications on his phone and computer to contact four reporters, including Watkins. The arrest is part of the investigation into illegal leaks regarding the Trump administration that was first reported by Buzzfeed in Apr. 2017.
It’s suspected that Wolfe used his position as Senate Intelligence Committee security director to gain access to that information and illegally leak it to his friends in the media.
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The crackdown on classified information leaks has been something the Trump administration has promised since last year.
“We intend to get to the bottom of these leaks. I think it has reached epidemic proportions. It cannot be allowed to continue, and we will do our best effort to ensure it does not continue,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in Nov. 2017.
The Senate Intelligence Committee is given access to huge amounts of classified information regarding government oversight of the FBI, CIA, NSA, as well as other top secret information. Wolfe, as security director, was tasked with enforcing the committee’s strict rules for lawmakers and staff on the circulation of this highly secretive information. He was also in charge of personal security and often escorted high profile witnesses, such as White House advisor Jared Kushner, to and from meetings.
After his arrest, Wolfe reportedly confessed to lying to investigators regarding the leaks and about his sexual relationship with Watkins.
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“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,” said Jessie Liu, the chief federal prosecutor in Washington, D.C.
— Stephen Dietrich is the Associate Publisher of The Horn News