A US Treasury Department worker has been charged with leaking secret government records to a reporter for stories about investigations of Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, Russian diplomats and alleged Russian agent Maria Butina.
Natalie Mayflower Sours Edwards, 40, is accused of using a cellphone with an encryption app to send the unidentified journalist photos of federal “Suspicious Activity Reports,” which banks use to alert the feds to potentially illegal transactions.
The SARs and other information allegedly provided by Edwards since October 2017 formed the basis of about a dozen stories, the most recent of which was published Monday, according to the Manhattan US Attorney’s Office.
The feds didn’t name the news outlet, but headlines cited in court papers identify it as BuzzFeed.
In January 2017, BuzzFeed also published a series of unverified memos alleging that Russia has damaging and salacious information about President Trump, who’s called it the “Fake Dirty Dossier.”
Edwards, who works as a senior adviser for the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, was busted on Tuesday.
She allegedly was in possession of the flash drive on which she stored the SARs, as well as the cellphone she allegedly used to leak them.
Edwards, who lives in Quinton, Viriginia, is scheduled to appear in federal court in Virginia on Wednesday afternoon, pending prosecution in Manhattan federal court on charges of conspiracy and unauthorized disclosures of SARs.
Each crime carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison.
BuzzFeed declined to comment.
Source: New York Post