A top federal employee of the Treasury Department was arrested and caught actually holding a flash drive with illegally obtained financial information of various Trump officials that she had been leaking to the “resistance” media.
The woman arrested, 40-year-old Natalie Mayflower Sours Edwards, was a senior official at the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) division. When Edwards was arrested she had in her hand a flash drive containing a cache of documents on financial reports from several Trump officials. Investigators said they were the sort of documents she had already leaked to a reporter in the past.
According to Fox News:
The financial transactions involved Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort, campaign official Richard Gates, accused Russian agent Maria Butina and the Russian Embassy, federal law enforcement officials said Wednesday.
An unidentified, higher-ranking Treasury colleague was cited in court papers as a co-conspirator with Edwards, but was not charged. That person, identified only as an “associate director” at FinCEN to whom Edwards reported, exchanged more than 300 messages with a reporter via an encrypted messaging application.
Edwards saved thousands of SARs, “along with thousands of other files containing sensitive government information,” to a government-provided flash drive, prosecutors said. She transmitted the SARs to the reporter by “taking photographs of them and texting the photographs” using an encrypted application, according to charging documents, which said Edwards eventually confessed to doing so. FBI agents obtained a pen register and trap and trace order for Edwards’ cellphone during their investigation.
Investigators also noted that Edwards was not involved in any work at Treasury that would have required her to have access to the documents, proving that she purposefully stole the documents so that she could leak them to damage the Trump administration.
Fox added: The flash drive contained not only 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.
Federal investigators pointed to a long list of stories published by left-wing provocateur site BuzzFeed as evidence of the documents Edwards had leaked in the last year.
“A review to date, pursuant to a judicially-authorized search warrant executed today, of Edwards’ personal cellphone has revealed that the cellphone contains the substance of many of these communications, including … communications in which Edwards transmitted or described” SARs to a reporter, FBI Special Agent Emily Eckstut wrote in an arrest warrant.
“At the time she was questioned, Edwards was also in possession of a flash drive that appeared to be the same drive on which she saved the SARs,” Eckstut said.
unsurprisingly, a spokesman for BuzzFeed refused to comment.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.
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