Former Senate Intelligence Committee staffer pleads guilty to lying to FBI investigators

1 month 15 hours 41 minutes ago Monday, October 15 2018 Oct 15, 2018 Monday, October 15, 2018 3:31:00 PM CDT October 15, 2018 in News
Source: CNN
By: Mary Kay Mallonee and Eli Watkins, CNN

(CNN) - Former Senate Intelligence Committee staff member James Wolfe pleaded guilty Monday to one count of lying to the FBI about his contacts with a reporter.

Federal prosecutors accused Wolfe, a former security director for the Senate Intelligence Committee, of lying to FBI agents in December 2017 about his contacts with three reporters, including through his use of encrypted messaging applications.

Judge Ketanji B. Jackson asked Wolfe, "Did you make a false statement to the FBI?"

"I did, your honor," Wolfe responded.

Jackson continued, "Are you entering a guilty plea because you are in fact guilty and for no other reason?"

Wolfe, standing next to his attorney, paused before he finally replied, "Yes, your honor."

"I'm guilty, your honor," he added.

Sentencing has been set for the afternoon of December 20, and sentencing guidelines indicate he could face up to six months in prison. The plea will allow all sides to avoid what could have been a high-profile and contentious trial, with reporters, lawmakers and Capitol Hill staffers potentially being subpoenaed.

Wolfe's guilty plea came after the Justice Department announced in June that the former Senate Intelligence Committee staffer had been arrested and indicted for lying to the FBI during an investigation into unlawful disclosure of classified information. President Donald Trump remarked on the arrest at the time, saying, "They caught a leaker."

The Justice Department said in a statement that as part of the plea agreement with Wolfe, it would dismiss the two other false-statements charges against him. The statement said Wolfe's guilty plea was an admission he made false statements to the FBI about providing the media with "unclassified, but not otherwise publicly available, information."

Although Wolfe pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI, he has not been charged with unlawfully disclosing classified information. Wolfe's attorneys issued a statement on Monday emphasizing that Wolfe "was never charged with having compromised classified information" and that such a charge was not part of his guilty plea.

"Jim has accepted responsibility for his actions and has chosen to resolve this matter now so that he and his family can move forward with their lives," the statement read. "We will have much more to say about the facts and Jim's distinguished record of nearly three decades of dedicated service to the Senate and the intelligence community at his sentencing hearing."

The New York Times reported at the time of the announcement of Wolfe's indictment that federal authorities had seized phone and email records from one of the paper's reporters, Ali Watkins, who had a relationship with Wolfe for three years.

Watkins told the Times that Wolfe had not provided her with classified information during their relationship.

The indictment earlier this year and Wolfe's guilty plea on Monday came as Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions have called for aggressively pursuing people who provide the public with sensitive information. Sessions said about a year ago that the Justice Department during his tenure had stepped up its active leak investigations relative to recent years -- noting 27 open investigations at the time of his comments last November.

The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2018 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

More News

Grid
List
NEW YORK (AP) — Facebook said it's making progress on detecting hate speech, graphic violence and other violations of its... More >>
48 minutes ago Thursday, November 15 2018 Nov 15, 2018 Thursday, November 15, 2018 3:53:00 PM CST November 15, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Employment providers, state agencies and employers serving people with disabilities across the state came together to learn how... More >>
1 hour ago Thursday, November 15 2018 Nov 15, 2018 Thursday, November 15, 2018 3:12:00 PM CST November 15, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Ceres, the statue that stood on top of the State Capitol for 94 years, touched ground Thursday.... More >>
1 hour ago Thursday, November 15 2018 Nov 15, 2018 Thursday, November 15, 2018 2:48:00 PM CST November 15, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A bronze statue called Ceres will spend the next year being cleaned and touched up for conservation... More >>
2 hours ago Thursday, November 15 2018 Nov 15, 2018 Thursday, November 15, 2018 2:30:00 PM CST November 15, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri's unemployment rate has hit a tied record low. Data released Thursday from the... More >>
3 hours ago Thursday, November 15 2018 Nov 15, 2018 Thursday, November 15, 2018 12:56:00 PM CST November 15, 2018 in News
MAGALIA, Calif. (AP) — Cool weather helped fire crews gain ground Thursday against the nation's deadliest wildfire in a century,... More >>
4 hours ago Thursday, November 15 2018 Nov 15, 2018 Thursday, November 15, 2018 11:52:00 AM CST November 15, 2018 in News
BOONE COUNTY - Two buses carrying students and staff from Our Lady of Lourdes Interparish School was involved in a... More >>
6 hours ago Thursday, November 15 2018 Nov 15, 2018 Thursday, November 15, 2018 10:01:00 AM CST November 15, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A judge ordered bond to be revoked Wednesday for a man charged in connection with an alleged conspiracy... More >>
8 hours ago Thursday, November 15 2018 Nov 15, 2018 Thursday, November 15, 2018 7:47:25 AM CST November 15, 2018 in News
HUNTSVILLE - A judge sentenced a Moberly man to 18 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to child sex... More >>
9 hours ago Thursday, November 15 2018 Nov 15, 2018 Thursday, November 15, 2018 7:35:37 AM CST November 15, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The number of kids in need is growing, according to the only foster care and adoption association... More >>
10 hours ago Thursday, November 15 2018 Nov 15, 2018 Thursday, November 15, 2018 6:20:00 AM CST November 15, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Ceres, the bronze statue that sits on top of the Capitol Building, will come to ground level... More >>
10 hours ago Thursday, November 15 2018 Nov 15, 2018 Thursday, November 15, 2018 6:02:00 AM CST November 15, 2018 in News
MOBERLY - Veterans at Moberly Correctional Center say a program designed to reconnect former servicemen to their military values has... More >>
19 hours ago Wednesday, November 14 2018 Nov 14, 2018 Wednesday, November 14, 2018 9:33:00 PM CST November 14, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia plow drivers participated in the annual Dry Snow Run to practice routes for the winter season Wednesday... More >>
20 hours ago Wednesday, November 14 2018 Nov 14, 2018 Wednesday, November 14, 2018 8:38:00 PM CST November 14, 2018 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - Medical marijuana may play a part in the reduction of opioid usage, supporters say. According to the... More >>
22 hours ago Wednesday, November 14 2018 Nov 14, 2018 Wednesday, November 14, 2018 6:39:00 PM CST November 14, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Mike Veny experienced trouble with mental health throughout his childhood. Instead of letting his negative past consume him,... More >>
22 hours ago Wednesday, November 14 2018 Nov 14, 2018 Wednesday, November 14, 2018 6:15:00 PM CST November 14, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Police Department recently announced their decision to end its Community Outreach Unit and some citizens are... More >>
23 hours ago Wednesday, November 14 2018 Nov 14, 2018 Wednesday, November 14, 2018 5:41:00 PM CST November 14, 2018 in News
GARDEN CITY - An entire police department is out of a job Wednesday morning without notice. According to the... More >>
23 hours ago Wednesday, November 14 2018 Nov 14, 2018 Wednesday, November 14, 2018 5:00:00 PM CST November 14, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – A new report from the Institute of International Education (IIE) found a decrease in the number of new... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, November 14 2018 Nov 14, 2018 Wednesday, November 14, 2018 1:54:00 PM CST November 14, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 44°
5pm 39°
6pm 38°
7pm 36°
8pm 35°