NYT Leaker Wolfe Pleads Guilty

NYT Leaker Wolfe Pleads Guilty

NYT Leaker Wolfe Pleads Guilty

Score one for the home team this afternoon. Ex-Senate Intelligence Committee Security Director James Wolfe – former sugar daddy/useful idiot of hoochie mama New York Times reporter Ali Watkins – pled guilty to one count of “false statement” in a D.C. courtroom today. He was lying about his contacts with reporters, when he had been, in fact, lying with the “reporter,” and running his mouth at the same time. But I digress.

Wolfe used to have a really schweet gig before he met up with the NYT’s resident femme fatale. Most of the mainstream reports and their headlines tag him as “ex-Senate STAFFER.” But dang if he wasn’t just a leetle bit more than a snuffy sharing an office.

A former security director for the Senate Intelligence Committee has pleaded guilty to one count of giving a false statement to FBI agents looking into leaks of national security information to several reporters, including one at the New York Times he dated, the Justice Department announced Monday.

James A. Wolfe, 58, was in charge of maintaining all classified information coming from the executive branch to the Senate panel. He served as the panel’s security director for 29 years.

Well, DANG.

Anyways. He meets this hot piece, ambitious Buzzfeed reporter, and shit just goes off the rails from there.

The statement says Wolfe lied about his contacts with four reporters. None of them are named, but one appears to be Ali Watkins, a New York Times journalist who formerly worked for BuzzFeed and POLITICO.

Wolfe admitted that he initially denied any personal relationship with any of the reporters, but after confronted with photographs of himself and Watkins, admitted to have had a personal relationship with her for several years. He continued to deny personal or professional contact with the other journalists, including contact about Page, identified in the court documents as “MALE-1.”

‘Scuse me?

Earlier this year, 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. Watkins worked previously for BuzzFeed, Politico and McClatchy.

Ah, what some people won’t do for job advancement in the #MeToo age. Exhibit A:

Photo: twitter.com/aliwatkins

Exhibit B: the dupe. EXCUSE ME! “Perp.”

Photo Credit: Carolyn Kaster/AP Photo

Looking for love in all the wrong places is normally not a career enhancing exercise. Damn near always ends badly for the sap trying to impress the wrong nubile, young, aspirational, manipulative chica.

Wolfe appeared to wipe away tears at one point, although he faced the judge and away from the audience. One of Wolfe’s lawyers, Preston Burton, fetched some tissues to comfort the defendant.

Despite Wolfe’s halting responses to some questions, he spoke in a loud, clear voice during the hearing.

Asked if he was ready to decide whether to plead guilty or go to trial, Wolfe said: “I’m guilty, your honor.”

This’ll break your heart for all the dumbasses in the world

Wolfe allegedly exchanged “tens of thousands of electronic communications” with one reporter, including one that read, “”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 that I could and to do the right thing with it so you could get that scoop before anyone else . . . .”

She, on the otherhand, has gads of people OUTRAGED at the FBI for seizing her phone records, etc.

Watkins’ current and former employers, including POLITICO, have complained about the tactics the Justice Department used in investigating the case, including by seizing her email and telephone records without telling her in advance. Justice Department policy generally requires such advance notice, but she was not told until February that her data was obtained last year.

Justice officials have suggested that the notice was not given in this instance because of her personal relationship with Wolfe and out of concern that notifying her might jeopardize the investigation.

(Oh, the poor thing.)(Heroic Mata Hari, she ain’t.)

What exactly was Wolfe originally charged with and what he ended up taking a plea for is worth taking a look at.

The Justice Department said in a statement that as part of the plea agreement with Wolfe, it would dismiss the two other false-statements charges against him. The statement said Wolfe’s guilty plea was an admission he made false statements to the FBI about providing the media with “unclassified, but not otherwise publicly available, information.”
Although Wolfe pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI, he has not been charged with unlawfully disclosing classified information. Wolfe’s attorneys issued a statement on Monday emphasizing that Wolfe “was never charged with having compromised classified information” and that such a charge was not part of his guilty plea.
The agreed statement of facts says that despite the ex-Senate aide’s denials, “Wolfe had, in truth, engaged in contacts with multiple reporters, including conveying to at least one reporter unclassified information concerning MALE-1, and on multiple occasions using his personal cell phone, his [Senate Intelligence Committee]-issued electronic mail account, and anonymizing messaging applications, including Signal and WhatsApp.”
Makes one wonder – especially as he was accused of leaks to several other reporters besides HotPants Watkins – why the Department of Justice dropped the other counts. Could it be that Mr. Wolfe has been forthcoming in their investigation in exchange for a lenient sentence? Could it be that other reporters, staffers, even senators, should be very concerned about what Wolfe has told investigators?
In the “one for us” column as well, someone besides a Trump associate has finally been nailed for leaking. And, according to Politico:
The guilty plea could ease tensions between President Donald Trump and the Justice Department. For more than a year, Trump has been pressing for a crackdown on leaks, particularly those related to the investigations that have most angered the president — criminal and congressional probes into his campaign’s alleged ties to Russia.
They do a particularly nice job of white washing the leaking. They’ve “angered” the President. Not that they’re patently illegal and unfair, you know. They make Trump “angry” and so the only reason to stop them.
I have high hopes that this is the start of the unmasking of the hierarchy. Andrew McCabe’s case just had a doc dump this afternoon, and specific mention is made of his “leaking.”
Hmmm. Might one not start at the bottom to scrape away the underpinnings of the rot? One would think so.
I look forward to the next few weeks. Could be a bumpy ride for some folks used to operating with impunity, and not a moment too soon.
Feature Photo Credit: Screen capture from James Wolfe – Statement of Offense

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