Monday, June 7, 2021

Indigenous Matriarch Warrior Gets 6 Months In Jail

Mirabile dictu, a bureaucratic leaker at the Treasury Department was forced to plead to a felony charge and received actual jail time. This is connected to the leaks of bank transaction reports in the Paul Manafort case. American Greatness has the story:

Former Treasury Official Sentenced to Prison for Leaking Russia, Manafort Docs

You can also read about it at the Wikipedia Natalie Edwards page. Edwards was a "senior official" at Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).  She expressed no remorse--far from it--and got close to the max, according to the sentencing guidelines. 

It turns out that her journalist handler, Jason Leopold, engaged in journalistic malpractice. I haven't heard what the consequences were for him. It seems clear enough that he thought this story would be his ticket to super stardom, so some license would slip past the watchdogs. Prosecutors, investigators, national security officials, journalists, scientists--the list goes on and on. The Trump era has been one long series of revelations of corruption not only in high official positions but in entire professions or categories of government employment.

[Edwards] was arrested on October 16, 2018, for disclosing over 2000 suspicious activity reports (SARs) and other confidential information from October 2017 to October 2018 detailing Russia's involvement in the 2016 presidential election to a reporter with BuzzFeed News, which published the series "The Money Trail". The SARs included money transfers and information about Maria Butina, Rick Gates, Paul Manafort, the Russian Embassy in the United States, and a Russian firm, Prevezon Alexander, LLC., involved with money laundering.

The Wall Street Journal identified the BuzzFeed News reporter as Jason Leopold. Edwards allegedly sent Leopold internal FinCEN emails, investigative memos and intelligence assessments, and the two were in regular contact. The New York Times characterized Edwards' case as procedurally different from that of James Wolfe, even though both cases involved leaking to reporters. Leopold sent story drafts to Edwards; this is prohibited by BuzzFeed News. The Columbia Journalism Review remarked that "it’s important to remember that sources are not editors."

As noted, Edwards remained defiant to the last:

Edwards, in an eight-minute statement to the court, said she “could not stand by aimlessly” in the face of misconduct she saw at Treasury. Edwards also disclosed her Native American roots. “I am an indigenous, matriarch warrior whose spirit cannot be broken,” she said.



  1. 'Edwards also disclosed her Native American roots. “I am an indigenous, matriarch warrior whose spirit cannot be broken,” she said.'

    She is certainly full of herself. Now, if she would only be made to make little rocks out of big rocks while imprisoned; something not likely to happen as she will probably be housed in one of those cushy white collar crime facilities for the important people who couldn't afford to pay off the right people for no jail time.

    Given civil service protections, a mention of what affect the conviction has on her retirement and future employment with the government would be a good follow-up article.


  2. Maybe she'll lose some weight in jail. The food's not so good.


    1. Especially if she requests a primitive Native American diet; one that consists of buffalo jerky, sweet potatoes, corn meal, and wild onions.


    2. Unless PotUS pardons her. Why shouldn't he, since she stood up for The Team?