The alleged leak to media of highly confidential documents related to the Russia investigation has led to the arrest of a U.S. Treasury employee.
Natalie Mayflower Sours Edwards, 40, is charged with leaking to a BuzzFeed News reporter documents involving former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, former Trump campaign official Richard Gates, accused Russian agent Maria Butina, a suspected Russian money launderer and the Russian Embassy in Washington.
Edwards, 40, is a senior adviser in Treasury’s financial crimes enforcement network.
CNBC reported she will face federal criminal charges in New York.
Law-enforcement officials say she unlawfully disclosed so-called suspicious activity reports, or SARS, which alert authorities to possible criminal conduct.
Disclosing such documents outside the scope of work is a felony that carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.
She’s accused of leaking “numerous SARS in October 2017” to an unidentified reporter and continuing the leaks until this month.
The complaint says she had “hundreds of electronic communications” with the reporter, “many via an encrypted application.”
The journalist had about a dozen articles published about Manafort and Gates that referenced details of the leaked reports. The articles carried the bylines of BuzzFeed reporters Jason Leopold and Anthony Cormier, and others at the media outlet.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller has disclosed no evidence of alleged Trump campaign collusion with Russia. But Manafort and Gates have pleaded guilty to financial crimes related to their consulting work for a pro-Russia political party in Ukraine many years before the 2016 election.
Butina is being held without bond on charges of being a Russian agent.
The complaint says Edwards “falsely denied knowing that [the reporter] intended to or did publish” the information she provided.