Former U.S. Senate staffer arrested in leak investigation

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James Wolfe, the former director of security at the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee, has been arrested for lying to the FBI as part of an investigation into leaks of classified information.

Wolfe, who is 58, was arrested on Thursday on three counts of making false statements to a government agency. He is accused of having lied to FBI agents about his repeated contact with three reporters.

As part of the investigation, law enforcement seized years of phone and email records from Ali Watkins, a national security reporter at the New York Times. The newspaper confirmed on Thursday that Watkins had a 3-year-long romantic relationship with Wolfe.

The indictment details Wolfe’s alleged contact with three reporters, whose identifies were not immediately revealed. In one instance, phone records showed extensive contact between Wolfe and a reporter around the publication of an article that revealed secret information.

In a text message to the same unidentified reporter in December, Wolfe allegedly wrote: “I’ve watched your career take off even before you ever had a career in journalism. .. I always tried to give you as much information that I could and to do the right thing with it so you could get that scoop before anyone else.”

Watkins, who had a number of major scoops over the past few years, told the New York Times that Wolfe was not a source of information during their relationship. Prior to joining the newspaper, Watkins worked for BuzzFeed News and Politico.

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