Senate Intelligence Committee Aide Indicted for Leaking Classified Material

A former senior Senate Intelligence Committee aide was charged Thursday for lying to FBI agents late last year regarding his contacts with three reporters.

According to The New York Times, James Wolfe served as the director of security for the Senate panel for 29 years and was indicted as part of the federal probe into the leaking of classified information. Wolfe is said to have lied to the FBI in December about communicating with three reporters by using encrypted messaging applications, and about giving two reporters non-public information about committee business.

He is scheduled to appear in front of a judge on Friday at the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland.

Members of the Senate panel on Thursday said that they knew about the federal investigation in late 2017. Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr and Vice Chairman Mark Warner stated in a joint statement that they “have fully cooperated” with the FBI and DOJ, adding that the Senate panel “has made certain official records available to the Justice Department” through the Senate Legal Counsel.

“We are troubled to hear of the charges filed against a former member of the Committee staff. While the charges do not appear to include anything related to the mishandling of classified information, the Committee takes this matter extremely seriously,” they said.

“This news is disappointing, as the former staffer in question served on the Committee for more than three decades, and in the Armed Forces with distinction. However, we trust the justice system to act appropriately and ensure due process as this case unfolds,” they continued, adding the case would “in no way interfere” with the panel’s ongoing probe into Russia’s election meddling.

The DOJ on Thursday said that the charges against Wolfe are the result of Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ push to increase the number of leak investigations pursued by the department.

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