James Wolfe, the former head of security for the Senate Intelligence Committee, was sentenced on Thursday for lying to the FBI about leaking information to reporters. The sentencing hearing by US District Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson stood in sharp contrast to the one held by Judge Emmet Sullivan with former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. Notably, despite being head of security for a committee with highly sensitive information, Jackson handed down only a two month sentence. In contrast, Sullivan indicated that he was inclined to send Flynn away for serious time and that the hearing took on a bizarre note with references to treason and being an effective foreign mole in the White House. Wolfe asked for a sentence in the same zero to six month range as Flynn, but the prosecutors asked for a “departure” for two years.
The indictment detailed contacts with four unnamed reporters, including New York Times reporter Ali Watkins, who previously worked at BuzzFeed News and Politico. Watkins and Wolfe had a romantic relationship.
Despite his action, he was able to give the court a letter of support from Chair Richard Burr, Vice Chair Mark Warner, and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a former chair and former director of national intelligence James Clapper.
Wolfe told the judge: “Your honor, I am so sorry, I am beyond embarrassed, I am beyond humiliated, I am beyond mortified. Those actions and my false denials were critical lapses in judgment and a personal failure on my part. It is because of what have done, no one else, that I am before this court today. I have acknowledged what I have done, broken the rules of the committee, and then lied about it.”
Wolfe will self-surrender to the federal Bureau of Prisons and he asked to serve his time at a federal correctional facility in Cumberland, Maryland. He will also have to spend four months on supervised release and must do 20 hours of community service each week. He’ll also have to pay a $7,500 fine.