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Senior Treasury worker charged with leaking papers associated to Russia probe

Devlin Barrett Matt Zapotosky October 17 during 1:33 PM

A comparison Treasury Department worker was charged Wednesday with leaking trusted supervision reports about questionable financial exchange associated to a special counsel’s examine of Russian choosing division and Trump associates.

The charges simulate a latest pierce in a Trump administration’s bid to base out leakers within a government. Earlier this week, a former comparison Senate staffer pleaded guilty to fibbing to FBI agents in a apart trickle investigation.

The Treasury box centers on a dozen stories published by BuzzFeed News that described questionable activity reports, or SARs, that are generated by banks when a financial transaction competence engage bootleg activity.

Prosecutors charged Natalie Mayflower Sours Edwards with a unapproved avowal of questionable activity reports and conspiracy. The charges were filed in sovereign justice in New York yet she is scheduled to make her initial justice coming in Northern Virginia, officials said.

Edwards, 40, works as a comparison confidant during a Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, mostly referred to as “FinCEN.”

Geoffrey S. Berman, U.S. Attorney for a Southern District of New York, pronounced Edwards “betrayed her position of trust by regularly disclosing rarely supportive information.”

The stories cited in a rapist censure filed opposite Edwards compare a headlines, diction and information contained in BuzzFeed News stories, yet a justice papers did not brand a association by name. Those stories mostly focused on questionable activity reports associated to pivotal total in a review being conducted by special warn Robert S. Mueller III, including former Trump debate authority Paul Manafort, Russian diplomats and other Trump associates.

The final such story was published on Monday, again sketch mostly from SARs reports.

About 2 million questionable activity reports were filed in 2017 from banks, income use businesses, casinos and others, according to FinCEN officials. On their own, questionable activity reports do not meant really much. But taken with other evidence, they can assistance beam investigators to specific exchange that competence engage financial crimes.

The 18-page rapist censure sum a hunt of Edwards’s phone and a peep expostulate she possessed, on that FBI agents contend they found a extensive digital route of her interactions with a reporters, in that she common SARS reports.

“The infancy of a files were saved to a folder on a peep expostulate entitled ‘Debacle — Operation-CF,’ and sub-folders temperament names such as ‘DebacleEmailsAsshat’,” a censure stated. “Edwards is not famous to be concerned in any central FinCEN plan or charge temperament these record titles or formula names.”

The peep expostulate files “appear to enclose thousands of SARs, along with other rarely supportive element relating to Russia, Iran, and a militant organisation famous as a Islamic State of Iraq and a Levant,” a censure charges.

When FBI agents questioned Edwards on Tuesday, she primarily denied carrying contacts with a contributor whose name appears on a stories during issue, afterwards “changed her account, and certified that on countless occasions, she accessed SARs on her computer, photographed them, and sent those photographs to Reporter-1” regulating an encrypted focus on her phone, according to a complaint.

The justice filing pronounced Edwards referred to herself as a whistleblower in a interview, yet combined while she had formerly filed a whistleblower censure associated to her work, that did not engage a SARs disclosures.

The justice papers also prove a FBI has investigated one of Edwards’s bosses, an associate executive of FinCEN, observant that chairman exchanged 325 text messages with a contributor in doubt during a month when a initial story seemed citing SARs reports.

A FinCEN orator pronounced Edwards has been placed on executive leave. He did not respond to a doubt about a standing of a associate executive referenced in a indictment.

A BuzzFeed orator declined to comment.

Article source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/senior-treasury-employee-charged-with-leaking-documents-related-to-russia-probe/2018/10/17/74f67faa-d226-11e8-83d6-291fcead2ab1_story.html