•   
  •   
  •   

Offbeat Justice Dept. Seizes Times Reporter’s Email and Phone Records in Leak Investigation

04:40  08 june  2018
04:40  08 june  2018 Source:   nytimes.com

Former Senate Intelligence Committee staffer indicted on lying to FBI about classified documents

  Former Senate Intelligence Committee staffer indicted on lying to FBI about classified documents A veteran staffer of the Senate Intelligence Committee has been charged in an illegal disclosure of classified documents probe. Charges against 58-year-old James Wolfe, the committee’s former Director of Security, come as the Senate agreed to give the Justice Department unspecified documents from the intelligence group as part of a federal investigation. Wolf worked with the committee for 31 years and retired in May, according to reports.A grand jury handed down the indictment, which details dozens of his messages with journalists. He is accused of making alleged false statements to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Federal law enforcement officials secretly seized years’ worth of a New York Times reporter ’ s phone and email records this year in an investigation of classified information leaks . It was the first known instance of the Justice Department going after a reporter ’ s data under President Trump.

WASHINGTON — A former Senate Intelligence Committee aide was arrested on Thursday in an investigation of classified information leaks where prosecutors also secretly seized years’ worth of a New York Times reporter ’ s phone and email records .

a store inside of a building: Federal law enforcement officials secretly seized years’ worth of a New York Times reporter’s phone and email records this year in an investigation of classified information leaks. © Joshua Roberts/Reuters Federal law enforcement officials secretly seized years’ worth of a New York Times reporter’s phone and email records this year in an investigation of classified information leaks.

WASHINGTON — Federal law enforcement officials secretly seized years’ worth of a New York Times reporter’s phone and email records this year in an investigation of classified information leaks. It was the first known instance of the Justice Department going after a reporter’s data under President Trump.

The seizure — disclosed in a letter to the reporter, Ali Watkins — suggested that prosecutors under the Trump administration will continue the aggressive tactics employed under President Barack Obama.

Ex-Senate aide charged with lying about reporter contacts, in court in Baltimore Friday

  Ex-Senate aide charged with lying about reporter contacts, in court in Baltimore Friday James A. Wolfe was indicted on three false statement counts.Load Error

13 that the Justice Department had obtained information on her Google email accounts and Verizon phone Former Senate staffer indicted; Feds seize 'N.Y. Times ' reporter ' s phone , email records in leak probe. SCOOP: Justice Dept . Seizes Times Reporter ’ s Email and Phone Records in Leak

Seizes Times Reporter ’ s Email and Phone Records in Leak Investigation https Not answering the govts phone calls is far from ‘lost’ oh there’s also thispic.twitter.com/xwG1I877fV. I thought Trump loves “leakers”?! Who promoted Russia to hack emails and release through Wikileaks

Mr. Trump has complained bitterly about leaks and demanded that law enforcement officials seek criminal charges against government officials involved in illegal and sometimes embarrassing disclosures of national security secrets.

Sign Up For the Morning Briefing Newsletter

News media advocates consider the idea of mining a journalist’s records for sources to be an intrusion on First Amendment freedoms, and prosecutors acknowledge it is one of the most delicate steps the Justice Department can take. “Freedom of the press is a cornerstone of democracy, and communications between journalists and their sources demand protection,” said Eileen Murphy, a Times spokeswoman.

A prosecutor notified Ms. Watkins on Feb. 13 that the Justice Department had years of customer records and subscriber information from telecommunications companies, including Google and Verizon, for two email accounts and a phone number of hers. Investigators did not obtain the content of the messages themselves. The Times learned on Thursday of the letter, which came from the national security division of the United States attorney’s office in Washington.

Indicted former Senate staffer appears in court as Russia leak probe set off partisan fireworks

  Indicted former Senate staffer appears in court as Russia leak probe set off partisan fireworks The former security director for the Senate Intelligence Committee made an initial court appearance on Friday after his indictment on charges that he lied to federal investigators probing a leak of information about a former campaign aide to President Donald Trump. The indictment of James A. Wolfe, 57, indicates that FBI agents were trying to determine how reporters learned that Carter Page, the former Trump campaign aide, had contacts with Russian intelligence operatives. The contacts were revealed to the Senate committee by law enforcement officials in classified documents, according to the indictment, which was unsealed late Thursday after his arrest.

NYT reporter covering FBI and nat sec. Ex-WaPo & AP. Reachable at this email . goldmanadam@protonmail.com. He’ s already known for pulling stunts like this. Now he uses phones that are not secured, anything is possible! Remember when Hillary’ s private server was all the scandal?!

The Department of Justice reportedly seized a New York Times reporter ' s phone and email records this year in an effort to probe the leaking of “Whether it was really necessary here will depend on the nature of the investigation and the scope of any charges.” The Hill has reached out to the Justice

The records covered years’ worth of Ms. Watkins’s communications before she joined The Times in late 2017 to cover federal law enforcement. During a seven-month period last year for which prosecutors sought additional phone records, she worked for Buzzfeed News and then Politico reporting on national security.

Shortly before she began working at The Times, F.B.I. agents approached Ms. Watkins seeking information about a previous three-year romantic relationship with James A. Wolfe, the Senate Intelligence Committee’s former director of security, saying they were investigating unauthorized leaks.

She did not answer their questions. Mr. Wolfe stopped performing committee work in December and retired in May.

Mr. Wolfe was not a source of information for Ms. Watkins during their relationship, she said, adding that she told editors at Buzzfeed News and Politico about it and continued to cover national security, including the committee’s work. Ben Smith, the editor of Buzzfeed News, declined to comment. Politico did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In charging Senate staffer and seizing reporter’s records, Justice Dept. ignites debate over leak crackdown

  In charging Senate staffer and seizing reporter’s records, Justice Dept. ignites debate over leak crackdown Critics worry that the moves will have a chilling effect on newsgathering.As the man charged in the brewing controversy made his first court appearance, free-press advocates warned that federal prosecutors’ heavy-handed tactics might send a further chill through the government, where officials already are reluctant to share information.

Justice Dept . Seizes Times Reporter ’ s Email and Phone Records in Leak Investigationhttps It reiterates the need for reporters to meet sources in parking garages (as an example) and not rely Just for the record , please republish your warnings to reporters when Obama was spying on James

The Justice Department seized years’ worth of a New York Times reporter ’ s email and telephone records as part of an investigation into a leak of classified information, the Times reported Thursday, a potentially troubling development for press freedom under the Trump administration that appears set

Ms. Watkins also told editors at The Times about the previous relationship when she was hired to cover federal law enforcement.

Mr. Wolfe declined to comment. The F.B.I. is investigating Mr. Wolfe as part of the inquiry into leaks of classified information, people familiar with the matter confirmed.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said last year that the Justice Department was pursuing about three times as many leak investigations as were open at the end of the Obama administration. Under Mr. Obama, the Justice Department prosecuted more leak cases than all previous administrations combined.

A Justice Department spokeswoman declined to comment.

“It’s always disconcerting when a journalist’s telephone records are obtained by the Justice Department — through a grand jury subpoena or other legal process,” said Ms. Watkins’s personal lawyer, Mark J. MacDougall. “Whether it was really necessary here will depend on the nature of the investigation and the scope of any charges.”

The investigation came to light after the Senate Intelligence Committee made a cryptic announcement on Wednesday that it was cooperating with the Department of Justice “in a pending investigation.” Earlier, the Senate quietly and unanimously adopted a resolution to share committee information with the Justice Department “in connection with a pending investigation arising out of the unauthorized disclosure of information.”

Press Groups Criticize the Seizing of a Times Reporter’s Records

  Press Groups Criticize the Seizing of a Times Reporter’s Records The Trump administration took possession of a journalist’s email and phone records as part of a leak investigation.The Committee to Protect Journalists called the move “a fundamental threat to press freedom.” The Times, in its own statement, called the seizure “an outrageous overreach” and raised concerns about a chilling effect on journalists’ ability to report on the government.

officials secretly seized years' worth of a New York Times reporter ' s phone and email records this year in an investigation of classified information leaks . watchdog report on the FBI and DOJ's Hillary Clinton investigation during the 2016 presidential campaign will be released next Thursday, Justice

Federal prosecutors seized email and phone records from Ali Watkins, a New York Times reporter in Washington, as part of a leak investigation .CreditCreditMSNBC. The Justice Department ramped up investigations into journalists and their sources under President Barack Obama, and the Trump

Mr. Wolfe, 57, a former Army intelligence analyst, worked for the committee in a nonpartisan capacity for more than 30 years. He worked closely with both Democrats and Republicans on the committee.

When law enforcement officials obtained journalists’ records during the Obama administration, members of Congress in both parties sounded alarms, and the moves touched off such a firestorm among advocates for press freedom that helped prompt the Justice Department to rewrite its relevant guidelines.

Under Justice Department regulations, investigators must clear additional hurdles before they can seek business records that could reveal a reporter’s confidential sources, such as phone and email records. In particular, the rules require the government to have “made all reasonable attempts to obtain the information from alternative, non-media sources” before investigators may target a reporter’s information.

In addition, the rules generally require the Justice Department to notify reporters first to allow them to negotiate over the scope of their demand for information and potentially challenge it in court. The rules permit the attorney general to make an exception to that practice if he “determines that, for compelling reasons, such negotiations would pose a clear and substantial threat to the integrity of the investigation, risk grave harm to national security, or present an imminent risk of death or serious bodily harm.”

In Targeting Reporter, Justice Dept. Backs Trump’s Anti-Press Rhetoric

  In Targeting Reporter, Justice Dept. Backs Trump’s Anti-Press Rhetoric A ratcheting up of tensions between the media and government, continuing a crackdown on leaks that ramped up in the Obama years. Under Mr. Obama’s attorney general, Eric H. Holder Jr., the Justice Department obtained private records from reporters at Fox News and The Associated Press. Eventually, facing criticism from the news media, Mr. Holder strengthened rules meant to minimize the seizure of journalists’ data.But journalists and lawyers said that the department’s handling of Ms. Watkins’s case was a sign that those guardrails might be on their way out, under a president who relishes taunting the press.

Federal prosecutors seized email and phone records from Ali Watkins, a New York Times reporter in Washington, as part of an investigation into whether Mr. Wolfe had given classified materials to reporters .CreditMsnbc. Even if the guidelines are not followed, journalists have little recourse beyond

The Times says the reporter , Ali Watkins, was informed in February that the Justice Department had obtained years of records for two email accounts and a phone The newspaper says it learned of the letter Thursday, and the records covered several years before Watkins joined The Times in late 2017.

Top Justice Department officials must sign off on any attempt to gain access to a journalist’s communications records.

It is not clear whether investigators exhausted all of their avenues of information before confiscating Ms. Watkins’s information. She was not notified before they gained access to her information from the telecommunications companies. Among the records seized were those associated with her university email address from her undergraduate years.

“We intend to get to the bottom of these leaks. I think it has reached epidemic proportions,” Mr. Sessions said in November during testimony on Capitol Hill. “It cannot be allowed to continue, and we will do our best effort to ensure it does not continue.”

“Freedom of the press is a cornerstone of democracy,” Ms. Murphy said. “This decision by the Justice Department will endanger reporters’ ability to promise confidentiality to their sources and, ultimately, undermine the ability of a free press to shine a much-needed light on government actions. That should be a grave concern to anyone who cares about an informed citizenry.”

The Intelligence Committee is responsible for carrying out oversight of American intelligence agencies, including the F.B.I., the C.I.A. and the National Security Agency, and their secretive operations. It is one of the most tightly secured groups in Congress, with strict rules for lawmakers and the professional staff governing the circulation and release of sensitive, and often classified, information that passes before the committee.

As security director, Mr. Wolfe would have been responsible for ensuring that those rules were upheld. When the committee became a matter of intense interest as it undertook a bipartisan investigation of Russia’s election meddling, Mr. Wolfe played a more visible role ushering witnesses in and out of the committee’s secured office space.

The committee’s members and aides have prided themselves on keeping sensitive information closely held, particularly as it began its high-profile Russia investigation requiring scores of private witness interviews and reviews of highly sensitive intelligence and law enforcement documents related to the case.

Follow Adam Goldman, Nicholas Fandos and Katie Benner on Twitter: @adamgoldmanNYT, @npfandos and @ktbenner.

Justice Dept. considered relationship between reporter and source before secretly seeking records .
Former Senate staffer James Wolfe pleaded not guilty on Wednesday to lying to the FBI.In normal circumstances, they would have to notify the reporter of the subpoena before they used it. But Justice Department leaders worried that if they told Ali Watkins of their intentions, she might tip off the man, a former director of security for the Senate Intelligence Committee, or take other steps that would upend the investigation, according to one of the people who, like others, spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss an open investigation.

—   Share news in the SOC. Networks

Topical videos:

usr: 1
This is interesting!