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Former Senate aide says he lied to FBI about leaks to press

By Danielle Haynes

Oct. 15 (UPI) -- A former Senate aide pleaded guilty Monday to lying to the FBI as part of its investigation into government leaks to reporters.

Former Senate intelligence committee Security Director James Wolfe, 57, of Ellicott City, Md., said he lied to the FBI in December 2017 when he denied that he had been in contact with any reporters.

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As part of his plea, he said he gave a reporter non-public, unclassified information about Carter Page, an American oil industry consultant who served as a foreign policy adviser to President Donald Trump during his presidential campaign. He said he told the reporter about Page's subpoena to testify before the intelligence committee, information that later was included in a national news article.

The Senate intelligence committee wanted to question Page as part of its investigation into whether Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential election.

RELATED Trump Russia probe: Who's involved, where it stands

Wolfe also said he made false statements to the FBI about conversations he had with three other reporters.

Trump has decried government leaks to the press since nearly the beginning of his administration and has vowed to discover those behind them.

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"The so-called leaks coming out of the White House are a massive over exaggeration put out by the Fake News Media in order to make us look as bad as possible. With that being said, leakers are traitors and cowards, and we will find out who they are!" he said in a May 2018 tweet.

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With the plea, Wolfe could face up to 5 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, though the likely sentence is up to 6 months.

RELATED House intelligence panel votes to release testimony from Russia inquiry

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