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A mere smack on the patties. Her sentence wasn't nearly severe enough.
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Posted by: TEEBONE ®

01/14/2020, 13:03:39

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Ex-Treasury employee pleads guilty to leaking Trump team info, after dramatic bust with flash drive in hand

Gregg Re
5-6 minutes

A former top Treasury Department official pleaded guilty Monday to conspiracy for leaking confidential banking reports associated with members of the Trump campaign, following her dramatic arrest in October 2018 as she toted a flash drive full of sensitive documents.

Edwards, 41, entered the plea in Manhattan federal court, where U.S.
District Judge Gregory H. Woods set sentencing for June 9. Although the
conspiracy charge carried a potential penalty of up to five years in
prison, Edwards signed a plea deal with prosecutors that recommended a
potential prison sentence of zero to six months.

was a senior adviser at Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement
Network, also known as FinCEN. Prosecutors said her crime began in
October 2017 and continued for a year, with Edwards sending a BuzzFeed
News reporter numerous Suspicious Activity Reports (“SARs”). Banks must
file SARs with the Treasury Department when they spot transactions
raising questions about possible financial misconduct such as money
laundering, but federal law strictly limited their disclosure.

SARs related to wire transfers made by Paul Manafort and other figures
in former Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation,
including campaign official Richard Gates, Maria Butina and the Russian Embassy.

As law enforcement swooped in, she was carrying a government-issued USB flash drive containing not
only thousands of SARs, but also "highly sensitive material relating to
Russia, Iran, and the terrorist group known as the Islamic State of
Iraq and the Levant," prosecutors said.

is not known to be involved in any official FinCEN project or task
bearing these file titles or code names," prosecutors said at the time.

"I am sorry for what I have done and I apologize to you, your honor, and the court," Edwards said.

Her arrest came on the heels of other high-profile, leak-related prosecutions under
the Trump administration, which had pledged to go on the offensive
against leakers whom the president has called "traitors and cowards."


pointed to about a dozen related stories published by BuzzFeed News
over the past year-and-a-half, including an article headlined, "GOP Operative Made 'Suspicious' Cash Withdrawals During Pursuit of Clinton Emails."

Another article was titled, "These 13 Wire Transfers Are A Focus of the FBI Probe Into Paul Manafort."

transmitted the SARs to the reporter by "taking photographs of them and
texting the photographs" using an encrypted application, according to
charging documents, which showed that Edwards eventually confessed to
doing so. FBI agents obtained a pen register and trap-and-trace order
for Edwards' cellphone during their investigation.

Mayflower Sours Edwards pleaded guilty to conspiracy for leaking
confidential Suspicious Activity Reports. (Alexandria Sheriff's Office)

additionally sent or described to the BuzzFeed News reporter internal
government emails or correspondence related to the reports and
investigative memos and intelligence assessments published by her
agency's intelligence division, prosecutors said.

the judge asked her if she knew she was committing a crime, Edwards
said she did not "know of the regulation" at the time but she knew about
the federal Whistleblower Protection Act.

After consulting with her lawyer, Marc Agnifilo, she said she admitted that she agreed to disclose the SARs.

She added: "I was not allowed under the law to disclose it."

Outside court, Agnifilo said the case illustrated how "one's subjective motivations really do not serve as a defense."

"I am sorry for what I have done and I apologize to you, your honor, and the court."

— Ex-Treasury official Natalie Edwards

said prosecutors were "probably of the view that she was more
politically motivated than she was for some conception like the good of
our republic."

Agnifilo said his
client believed "certain critical facts" weren't being handled in the
right way by the government agencies tasked with handling them.


said: 'You know, if I can't trust government officials to handle this, I
think I can trust the media to handle this and to bring this to the
attention of the American people,'" the lawyer said.

said Edwards was in contact with congressional subcommittees and others
in government but didn't believe they were dealing adequately with the
information she offered.

In a
release, U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said Edwards violated the
integrity of the system of suspicious activity reports relying on banks
and other financial institutions alerting law enforcement to potentially
illegal transactions.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


Democrats wouldn't buy a clue if it was government subsidized.

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