James A. Wolfe, a former security director for the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) was indicted and arrested late Thursday for allegedly lying to the FBI as part of an investigation related to the leak of classified information in December last year.

The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) said in a press release that Wolfe lied to FBI agents about his contacts with three reporters, including through his use of encrypted messaging applications.

He also made false statements about providing two reporters with non-public information related to the matters occurring before the SSCI, the release said.

According to the DOJ, Wolfe, security director for nearly 30 years, had all the information classified "secret" and "top secret" provided by the Executive Branch, including the U.S. Intelligence Community, to the SSCI. 

U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Jessie K. Liu said, “Mr. Wolfe’s alleged conduct is a betrayal of the extraordinary public trust that had been placed in him.”

“It is hoped that these charges will be a warning to those who might lie to law enforcement to the detriment of the United States,” she added.

Assistant Attorney General Demers said, “The Attorney General has stated that investigations and prosecutions of unauthorized disclosure of controlled information are a priority of the Department of Justice. The allegations in this indictment are doubly troubling as the false statements concern the unauthorized disclosure of sensitive and confidential information.”

fbi The J. Edgar Hoover Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Building is seen in Washington, DC, Feb. 1, 2018. Photo: REUTERS/Jim Bourg/File Photo

The arrest comes the same day the New York Times reported one of its reporters, Ali Watkins, who had been in a three-year relationship with Wolfe, had been notified by a prosecutor that her email and phone records were obtained by federal investigators as part of an enquiry on Wolfe. Watkins appears to be referred to as Reporter #2 in the indictment.

The indictment said that in another case in October 2017, Wolfe alerted a reporter using an encrypted messaging app about Carter Page, a former Trump campaign adviser, being served with a subpoena to testify before the committee. Once the article was published, Wolfe wrote “I’m glad you got the scoop,” the New York Times reported.

The document said that in the same month, Wolfe reached out to a third reporter to serve as an unnamed source. Prosecutors said Wolfe communicated with a fourth reporter using his Senate email account from 2015 to 2017.

Wolfe worked as an Intelligence Analyst for the U.S. Army from 1983-1987 before joining the SSCI. He was working as Director of Security for the SSCI, a position he held for approximately 29 years when he made false allegations.

Wolfe abruptly departed the senate panel at the end of 2017 where he worked under leadership of both parties since 1987, reported CNN.

According to his LinkedIn page, Wolfe earned a degree in Business Administration and Management from the University of Maryland College Park.

Wolfe is expected to make his first appearance on June 8 at the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland.