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Former Senate intel aide indicted for perjury makes first court appearance

Former Senate intel aide indicted for perjury makes first court appearance
© Greg Nash

James Wolfe, the former director of security for the Senate Intelligence Committee accused of lying to FBI agents, made his first court appearance on Friday. 

Wolfe, 58, did not enter a plea, according to a Justice Department statement. He was advised that he faces three charges of perjury for making false statements to the FBI.

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Wolfe agreed to give up his passport, and to not travel outside Washington, D.C., and Maryland.

Friday's appearance was at the federal courthouse in Baltimore because of his arrest in Maryland, but his next court appearance will be Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. 

Wolfe was arrested in connection with a Department of Justice investigation into the unauthorized disclosure of nonpublic information. 

The former Senate aide, who served as the committee's security director for 29 years, is accused of lying about giving reporters access to nonpublic information about committee business.

He is specifically accused of lying to the FBI about contacts with three reporters, and of false statements about providing information to two reporters.

Wolfe's court appearance come after The New York Times reported that the Justice Department had seized phone and email records from Ali Watkins, a Times reporter who previously worked for BuzzFeed and Politico.

While Watkins had been involved in a three-year relationship with Wolfe that has since ended, the Times said she had informed editors of her relationship, and said that Wolfe did not act as a source of information during their relationship. 

The indictment against Wolfe gives a detailed account of his interactions with one reporter whom he acknowledges he was in a relationship with, but does not name the reporter.