WASHINGTON, US.- A former employee of the Senate intelligence committee has been arrested on charges of lying to the FBI about contacts with multiple reporters and was expected in federal court Friday in Baltimore.
James A. Wolfe, the longtime director of security for the committee — one of multiple congressional panels investigating potential ties between Russia and the Trump campaign — was indicted on three false statement counts Thursday evening after prosecutors say he misled agents about his relationships with reporters.
Though Wolfe is not charged with disclosing classified information, prosecutors say he was in regular contact with multiple journalists who covered the committee, including meeting them at restaurants, in bars, private residences and in a Senate office building. He is also accused of maintaining a yearslong personal relationship with one reporter, which prosecutors say he lied about until being confronted with a photograph of him and the journalist.
On Friday morning, President Donald Trump said the Justice Department had caught “a very important leaker” and said it could be a “terrific thing.” He said he was still getting details on the case.
“I’m a big, big believer in freedom of the press,” Trump told reporters before departing for a trip to Canada. “But I’m also a believer in classified information. Has to remain classified.”
Wolfe’s indictment was announced soon after The New York Times revealed that the Justice Department had secretly seized the phone records and emails of one of its journalists, Ali Watkins, as part of the leak investigation involving Wolfe.