Ex-Treasury official sentenced to 6 months in prison for leaking documents
Former Treasury official Natalie Mayflower Sours Edwards was sentenced to six months in prison on Thursday for leaking thousands of pages of confidential financial reports to multiple media organizations, Politico reports.
Why it matters: "Edwards’ sentencing ... comes amid renewed scrutiny of the Justice Department’s policies in leak cases," Politico writes. The documents were used by media organizations, including BuzzFeed News, to report stories related to former special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of then-President Trump's ties to Russia and global banking institutions' business with suspicious clients.
The state of play: Edwards pleaded guilty in 2020 to one count of conspiracy for filing unauthorized suspicious activity reports (SARs), which financial institutions use to alert the U.S. government of "potential criminal activity," Buzzfeed reports.
- She was charged with leaking the documents in 2018, after the Treasury Inspector General’s office noticed a "pattern" of unauthorized media disclosures, The Hill writes.
The big picture: Edwards addressed the court before her sentencing, saying she had been unable to "stand by aimlessly" while witnessing corruption in the Trump administration," per Buzzfeed.
- “I understand and accept that a lot of information was made available to the public. I do apologize for that," she added, as reported by Politico.
What to watch: Edwards has until August 2 to turn herself in to the authorities, and her prison term will be followed by three years of supervised release, according to Buzzfeed.