An ex-Senate staffer who was a member of the Intelligence Committee pleaded guilty Monday to lying to the FBI as part of a broader investigation into the leaking of classified information to the press.
James Wolfe, 57, who was the Senate Committee’s security director, was charged with three counts of making false statements to federal authorities before cutting a plea deal wherein he confessed his guilt on one of the counts, according to multiple reports. The other two counts have been dismissed.
During the investigation, federal agents seized emails and phone records belonging to New York Times correspondent Ali Watkins, with whom Wolfe had a romantic relationship.
“At the time Wolfe made the false statement to the FBI, he was the director of security for the (Senate panel), a position he held for more than 28 years,” the Justice Department said in a statement. “Wolfe was entrusted with receiving, maintaining, and managing classified national security information provided to the (Senate panel).”
Big League Politics reported on Wolfe and Watkins’ unethical relationship:
A New York Times reporter had her phone and email records seized after her lover, a staff member for the Senate Intelligence Committee (SSCI) was arrested for lying to the FBI during an investigation into the leak of classified information.
Reporter Ali Watkins had a three-year relationship with James A. Wolfe, longtime director of security for the SSCI. He is alleged to have made false statements to the FBI regarding his relationship with three reporters in connection to the Carter Page case.
“It appeared that the F.B.I. was investigating how Ms. Watkins learned that Russian spies in 2013 had tried to recruit Carter Page, a former Trump foreign policy adviser,” according to the New York Times.
The answer to that question is now obvious. Watkins slept with Wolfe, and he leaked the dirt to her in return.
Watkins hilariously denounced such a practice during her more innocent days in journalism school.
“I wanted to be Zoe Barnes…until episode 4. Sleeping with your source- especially a vindictive congressman?,” she said in reference to the show “House of Cards.”
— Ali Watkins (@AliWatkins) April 2, 2013
The Times, predictably, denounced the seizure of Barnes’ illegally leaked communications as an “attack” on the free press.
“Freedom of the press is a cornerstone of democracy, and communications between journalists and their sources demand protection,” said Eileen Murphy, a Times spokeswoman in June.
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President Trump Prepares Afghanistan Peace Deal To End America’s Longest War
It’s about time.
President Donald Trump is preparing a monumental peace deal with the Afghan Taliban to withdraw thousands of U.S service members from Afghanistan and start winding down America’s lengthiest war.
The President is dispatching Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to attend the signing of the peace deal in Qatar. The White House published a statement on the upcoming peace deal Friday, emphasizing the need to finally end the seemingly endless Afghan War.
The statement emphasizes President Trump’s campaign promise during 2016 to pursue a final end to the ceaseless, never-ending conflict.
Senior military and state department officials had met with representatives of the Taliban on Thursday night. The Taliban has been negotiating with the United States and the Afghan government on and off for months now.
Leaked documents have revealed a legacy of corruption and waste surrounding the U.S presence in Afghanistan.
The US-Taliban peace deal with reduce the amount of American service members present within the country from around 13,000 to 8,600. The burden of securing Taliban-dominated Afghan provinces will now be further shifted upon the Afghan government, a largely corrupt entity that has largely failed to provide a lasting and meaningful governmental alternative to the Islamist organization.
The Taliban has agreed never again to host extremist organizations such as al-Qaeda or ISIS in Afghanistan that plot attacks on the United States from the nation. The signing of the deal in Qatar has been preceded by a seven-day limited ceasefire, which the militant group had to obey in order for American authorities to sign the deal.
Some hawkish Senators and congressmen have openly called for limitless and infinite American military presence in the troubled Central Asian country.
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