WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on a former Senate intelligence committee staffer facing federal charges for allegedly lying to the FBI about having contact with reporters (all times local):
The Committee to Protect Journalists says it is concerned about the Justice Department’s seizure of phone and email records from a New York Times reporter as part of a case against a Senate intelligence committee staffer charged with lying to the FBI.
James Wolfe’s indictment was announced Thursday after the Times revealed the department had secretly seized phone records and emails from reporter Ali Watkins. The newspaper said Watkins was approached by the FBI about a relationship she had with Wolfe when she worked at other publications.
The advocacy group says it’s the first known incident in which prosecutors have gone after journalist data under President Donald Trump.
Alexandra Ellerbeck of CPJ says the seizure sets a dangerous precedent because journalists must be able to protect their sources.
A former employee of the Senate intelligence committee has been arrested on charges of lying to the FBI about contacts he had with multiple reporters. That from federal prosecutors on Thursday.
James A. Wolfe was the longtime director of security for the committee. He was indicted on three false statement counts after prosecutors say he misled agents about his relationships with reporters. The committee is one of multiple congressional panels investigating potential ties between Russia and the Trump campaign
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.