The DOJ has arrested a big leaker that works in the Treasury department. Her name is Natalie Mayflower Sours Edwards and she was a senior advisor in the financial crimes enforcement area.
She leaked Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) regarding Paul Manafort and his overseas dealings to a Buzzfeed reporter. The SARs were related to the Mueller investigation, among others:
NBC NEWS – The Justice Department has arrested a senior Treasury department official accused of leaking highly-sensitive financial reports to a reporter looking into former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s overseas dealings as well as transactions involving the Russian embassy.
Natalie Mayflower Sours Edwards, a senior advisor at the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), was charged with disclosing suspicious activity reports, known as SARs, to an unidentified reporter beginning in October 2017, authorities said.
The substance of those reports — which focused on Manafort, his former business partner Rick Gates, the Russian Embassy, alleged Russian spy Maria Butina and the Prevezon Alexander real estate company — were later detailed in roughly 12 articles that based on a search were all published by Buzzfeed, according to court documents.
“Natalie Mayflower Sours Edwards, a senior-level FinCEN employee, betrayed her position of trust by repeatedly disclosing highly sensitive information contained in Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) to an individual not authorized to receive them,” said U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman.
Edwards, 40, had saved the SARs, as well as thousands of other files containing sensitive government information, to a flash drive given to her by FinCEN, according to court documents.
Federal prosecutors say the Virginia native sent the information to the reporter using an encrypted app.
Edwards is also accused of sending the reporter internal FinCEN emails and documents including confidential memos and intelligence assessments that contained various threat assessments to individuals and businesses.
According to the criminal complaint the SARs that were disclosed all were relevant to investigations being led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, federal prosecutors in Manhattan and the National Security Division of the Justice Department.
Edwards was arrested on Tuesday with the flash drive:
Edwards was arrested Tuesday carrying a flash drive suspected of being the one she used to save the leaked SARS. She was also in possession of a cell phone containing numerous communications over an encrypted app she used to send the confidential documents to the reporter, according to court documents.
When interrogated by federal agents, she described herself as a ‘whistleblower’:
"During the interview described herein, EDWARDS told the Interviewing Agents, in sum and substance, that she is a 'whistleblower' who provided the SARS to Reporter-1 for 'record keeping.'" #AlwaysReadTheFootnotes pic.twitter.com/etSDcetsnq
— Adam Klasfeld (@KlasfeldReports) October 17, 2018
But then she also claimed that she didn’t know the SARs would be published:
Under questioning, Edwards confessed to providing the SARs to the reporter but claimed she had no idea that the reporter would publish the information, court documents say.
I find it hard to believe that she claims to be a whistleblower on one hand but then suggests she didn’t know they’d be published when she gave them to a REPORTER.
She reportedly could face up to ten years in prison if convicted and it sounds like she will be convicted if she’s already admitting she is a whistleblower.
Top photo came from Linkedin. She’s the one on the right.