A former Senate Intelligence Committee aide was arrested Thursday on charges of lying to FBI during an investigation into whether he leaked classified information to reporters.
The FBI said James A. Wolfe, 57, made misleading statements to agents when they asked him about his previous contacts with several reporters, including one he had a personal relationship with between approximately December 2013 and December 2017.
That reporter, Ali Watkins of The New York Times, also had several years of her phone and email records secretly seized by the FBI.
The New York Times spokeswoman, Eileen Murphy, said seizing a journalist’s communications records is an alarming and potentially unconstitutional step to take in an investigation.
“Freedom of the press is a cornerstone of democracy, and communications between journalists and their sources demand protection,” Murphy said.