Former Senate Intelligence Committee Staffer Sentenced For Lying To The FBI


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.

99 thoughts on “Former Senate Intelligence Committee Staffer Sentenced For Lying To The FBI”



    Turkey says it will postpone an invasion of Syria as U.S. forces leave — the better to “bury” our Kurdish allies. And Russian President Vladimir Putin exults: “American troops should not be in Syria and have been there illegally.”

    Indeed, a Soviet leader hardly could have outlined a better scenario than Trump has created for Putin:

    A rift between the United States and NATO allies over the future of the alliance.

    A U.S. demand that Russia be returned to the Group of Seven , as Russia continues provocations in Ukraine.

    A U.S. threat to pull out of the World Trade Organization, and a round of U.S.-imposed tariffs that severely weakened it.

    A U.S. president abandoning human rights, accepting Saudi Arabia’s murder of a U.S.-based journalist and embracing repressive leaders around the globe.

    A U.S. president creating a rift with Europe over Iran (the nuclear agreement) and climate change (the Paris accord).

    A U.S. president embracing as “very honorable” North Korea’s brutal dictator without any tangible concessions on nuclear weapons.

    A U.S.-launched trade war that, the Federal Reserve said this week, is partially responsible for cooling worldwide growth.

    Lost confidence among Americans in elections, the Justice Department, the FBI, the courts and the free press.

    And the loss of a bipartisan consensus against the Russian threat. Forty percent of Republicans called Russia an ally or friend in a Gallup poll, up from 22 percent in 2014.

    Why has Trump squandered so much for so little? Maybe it’s because, during the 2016 campaign, Russia was privately negotiating a business deal in Moscow with him and releasing stolen documents that hurt his Democratic opponent. (Meanwhile, Trump was praising Putin and his campaign was softening the GOP platform on Russia.)

    Whether special counsel Robert S. Mueller III concludes there was a quid pro quo, Putin clearly has benefited from Trump’s presidency.

    In Helsinki, in front of the world, Trump accepted Putin’s word over that of U.S. intelligence agencies. Trump has chafed at aides’ insistence on Russia sanctions, and the few who could resist Trump’s pro-Putin instincts are gone: H.R. McMaster, Rex Tillerson, John Kelly and now Mattis.

    Edited from: “It’s Official. We Lost The Cold War”


  2. Two months in the white collar clink is definitely worth 5 years of boffing a 20-ish young reporter. What’s a little classified information law thingy to get it the way when she thinks you’re hot?

    1. I dawns on me that he is being sentenced to 4 months supervised release, and that he is married. Wonder if he has to spend the time at home. Dianne and her friends should at least explain to his wife that he did it in the public interest. All in the interest of transparency, plus he helped a young lady’s career. Hope the wife is as understanding as the judge.

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