Ain’t love grand? Romance is blossoming in the Washington swamp. First we had star-crossed lovers Peter Strock and Lisa Page, FBI agents who texted each other about how to use the Bureau’s investigation to derail Donald Trump’s candidacy.
Now we have a sequel: James A. Wolf, a 50 something senior staffer on the Senate Intelligence Committee conducted a three-year affair with Ali Watkins, 26, a NY Times reporter who published his leaks to her.
In the same vein, the Justice Department Inspector General report revealed that it was a regular practice of certain journalists (unnamed in the report) to send gifts to FBI agents to motivate them to leak stories their way. The gifts included free dinners and lunches, tickets to concerts and sporting events, and other enticements. The IG, unfortunately neither revealed the bribers or the bribees, releasing no names.
The participants in this favors-for-leaks exchange need to be outed, indicted, and prosecuted.
During the entire time of Trump’s presidency, we have speculated on who was leaking stories about the Russia meddling and FBI investigations. Now that the names are coming out, there must be consequences.
It doesn’t matter if the leaking involved romance, money, gifts, or just ideology. Leaking confidential — even if not classified — information to journalists must be out of bounds. It is the norm for how Washington does business, but it must stop. These relationships must be ferreted out and exposed.
The prime responsibility rests with the news outlets involved. The New York Times, for example, needed to have explored the nature of the Web-Watkins liaison before it printed the stories that eventuated. Recall how the Washington Post probed deeply with reporters Woodward and Bernstein who was “deep throat,” their source for the Watergate stories.
Now that the leakers — and the journalists to whom they leaked — are coming out, swift prosecutions should follow.
Please go to www.dickmorris.com to sign the petition demanding prosecution of the leakers and their journalistic partners.
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