FILE - In this June 13, 2018, file photo, James Wolfe former director of security with the Senate Intelligence Committee leaves the federal courthouse, in Washington. James Wolfe appeared in federal court in Washington on Monday, Oct. 15, 2018, and pleaded guilty to a single charge in the three-count indictment against him. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File)

Senate aide pleads guilty to lying to FBI

October 15, 2018 - 1:14 pm

WASHINGTON (AP) — A former Senate intelligence committee employee pleaded guilty Monday to lying to the FBI about contact he had with a reporter.

James Wolfe, the longtime director of security for the committee — one of multiple congressional panels investigating potential ties between Russia and the Trump campaign — pleaded guilty to a single charge in the three-count indictment against him.

Prosecutors said Wolfe told a reporter in October 2017 that he had served someone with a subpoena involving the potential ties between Russia and the Trump campaign and later lied to FBI agents about the exchange. Their names weren't made public.

After the reporter published a story about the subpoena, Wolfe congratulated them, saying in a message, "I'm glad you got the scoop," according to the indictment.

Though Wolfe was never charged with disclosing classified information, prosecutors alleged that he was in regular contact with multiple journalists who covered the committee, in violation of Senate rules. He also maintained a yearslong personal relationship with one reporter, a relationship prosecutors say he lied about until being confronted with a photograph of him and the journalist.

As part of his plea agreement, prosecutors will seek to dismiss the remaining charges at his sentencing in December. Wolfe, of Ellicott City, Maryland, will likely face a maximum of six months behind bars, according to a plea agreement. But he could also get no prison time.

"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," Wolfe's attorneys said in a statement.

A spokeswoman for the Senate intelligence committee declined to comment on the plea.


Associated Press writer Mary Clare Jalonick contributed to this report.