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Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Columbia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, December 20, 2018

Former U.S. Senate Employee Sentenced to Prison Term on False Statements Charge

Longtime Director of Security for the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Admitted Lying to FBI About Disclosing Information to Reporter

            WASHINGTON – James A. Wolfe, 58, of Ellicott City, Maryland, the former Director of Security for the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI), was sentenced today to two months in prison for making a false statement to the FBI during the course of an investigation into the unlawful disclosure of classified national security information. 

            The announcement was made by Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers, U.S. Attorney Jessie K. Liu for the District of Columbia, and Special Agent in Charge Timothy M. Dunham of the Counterintelligence Division of the FBI’s Washington Field Office.

            Wolfe pled guilty on Oct. 15, 2018, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, to one count of making a false statement. Under the plea agreement, the government moved to dismiss two remaining false statements counts at sentencing. In his proffer, Wolfe admitted to the conduct underlying one of the two dismissed counts.

            In addition to the prison time, the Honorable Ketanji Brown Jackson ordered that Wolfe pay a $7,500 fine. She also ordered that he complete four months of supervised release following his incarceration. During that time, he is to perform 20 hours of community service a month.  

            At the time Wolfe made the false statement to the FBI, he was the Director of Security for the SSCI, a position he held for more than 28 years. As SSCI Director of Security, he was entrusted with receiving, maintaining, and managing classified national security information provided to the SSCI by the Executive Branch of the United States.

            According to a statement of offense filed at the time of the plea, the FBI opened an investigation in April 2017 into the unauthorized disclosure of classified national security information that had appeared in a specific article published by a national news organization.  In December 2017, during the course of the investigation, Wolfe was interviewed.  Wolfe was asked specifically about whether he had been in contact with any reporters and, if so, who those reporters were, and what were the nature and extent of those contacts and the means by which those contacts occurred.

            By his guilty plea, he admitted making false statements to the FBI concerning whether he had provided unclassified, but not otherwise publicly-available, information to reporters.  Specifically, on Oct. 16, 2017, and again on Oct. 24, 2017, Wolfe provided a particular reporter with non-public information concerning a witness who had been subpoenaed to testify before the SSCI. Wolfe also admitted making false statements to the FBI about his contacts with three additional reporters, including one of the authors of the aforementioned article.

            Wolfe was indicted in June 2018. The investigation into this matter was conducted by the FBI’s Washington Field Office.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jocelyn Ballantine and Tejpal S. Chawla and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Laura Ingersoll of the District of Columbia, with assistance from the Counterintelligence and Export Control Section, National Security Division of the U.S. Department of Justice.

 

Topic(s): 
National Security
Press Release Number: 
18-351
Updated December 20, 2018