Intelligence Committee Staffer Indicted

James Wolfe, former director of staff security, is accused of lying to investigators about contact with reporters

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein passes James Wolfe, Senate Intelligence Committee director of staff security, after a committee hearing in May 2017. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein passes James Wolfe, Senate Intelligence Committee director of staff security, after a committee hearing in May 2017. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Posted June 8, 2018 at 8:01am

The Justice Department indicted and arrested a longtime staffer for the Senate Intelligence Committee for lying to the FBI about his contacts with reporters.

The department announced on Thursday evening that James Wolfe, who served as director of staff security for the Senate Intelligence Committee, was indicted by a federal grand jury on three counts.

According to the Justice Department’s announcement, Wolfe is alleged to have “lied to FBI agents in December 2017 about his repeated contacts with three reporters, including through his use of encrypted messaging applications.”

Wolfe was also indicted for making false statements about giving two reporters information that wasn’t public related to the committee, according to the announcement.

“Mr. Wolfe’s alleged conduct is a betrayal of the extraordinary public trust that had been placed in him,” said U.S. Attorney Jessie Liu in the announcement. “It is hoped that these charges will be a warning to those who might lie to law enforcement to the detriment of the United States.”

The indictment read that Wolfe denied he was a source for multiple articles containing contained classified information provided by the executive branch to the committee.

“Despite Wolfe’s statements, Wolfe had, in truth, engaged in extensive contact with multiple reporters,” the indictment reads.

Wolfe is accused of using his personal phone and committee email, as well as apps like Signal and WhatsApp, to communicate with reporters.

Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr and Vice Chairman Mark Warner said in a statement that they were troubled to hear about the indictment.

“This news is disappointing, as the former staffer in question served on the Committee for more than three decades, and in the Armed Forces with distinction,” the two said. “However, we trust the justice system to act appropriately and ensure due process as this case unfolds.”

Wolfe is scheduled to make a first court appearance Friday at the the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland.

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