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For Leaking FinCen SARs of Manafort Edwards Pled Guilty Now Six Weeks Delay in Sentencing

By Matthew Russell Lee, Video, thread, Patreon

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Jan 13 – The U.S. Treasury employee accused in October 2018 of leaking Suspicious Activity Reports about Paul Manafort and others, Natalie Edwards, pleaded guilty to one count on January 13, 2020 before U.S. District Court Southern District of New York Judge Gregory H. Woods.

  Edwards got a plea agreement for between zero and six months and a $9500 fine which her lawyer afterward told Inner City Press was a standard fine. Video here; live tweeted thread of plea proceeding here. More on Patreon here.

 Now on May 22, Edwards sentencing which had been set for July 8 has been extended six weeks by Judge Woods: "Application granted. The deadline for disclosing the final pre-sentence report is extended to June 22, 2020. Sentencing is adjourned to August 21, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. Defendant's sentencing submissions are due no later than July 31, 2020; the Government's sentencing submissions are due no later than August 7, 2020. As a result of this adjournment, the Court anticipates that the sentencing will take place in person in Courtroom 12C." Inner City Press will be there.

  Back in January the allocution almost broke down when Judge Woods asked Edwards if she knew what she did was wrong. She mentioned that word whistleblower then got cut off.

  After Assistant US Attorney Maurene Comey and her colleagues conferred with Agnifilo and
Jacob Kaplan, also with Brafman & Associates, the plea got back on track. Edwards said she knew the disclosure to BuzzFeed was not authorized.

  Outside the SDNY courthouse afterward, Inner City Press and others puts questions to Agnifilo. Inner City Press asked if Edwards had sought whistleblower status. Agnifilo said genially that he declined to answer. He added that he will be seeking a non incarceratory sentence. The sentencing is set for June 9 at 4 pm. Watch this site. More on Patreon here.

Back on January 30, 2019 on Worth Street, Inner City Press asked her Kaplan about a statement made during the initial proceeding, that another person's device was also search. Kaplan acknowledged that had been said, adding that he didn't know who it was. Video here, Vine here.  

Here's from what was announced in the Complaint in October 2018: "Beginning in approximately October 2017, and lasting until the present, EDWARDS unlawfully disclosed numerous SARs to a reporter (“Reporter-1”), the substance of which were published over the course of approximately 12 articles by a news organization for which Reporter-1 wrote (“News Organization-1”). The illegally disclosed SARs pertained to, among other things, Paul Manafort, Richard Gates, the Russian Embassy, Mariia Butina, and Prevezon Alexander. EDWARDS had access to each of the pertinent SARs and saved them – along with thousands of other files containing sensitive government information – to a flash drive provided to her by FinCEN. She transmitted the SARs to Reporter-1 by means that included taking photographs of them and texting the photographs to Reporter-1 over an encrypted application. In addition to disseminating SARs to Reporter-1, EDWARDS sent Reporter-1 internal FinCEN emails appearing to relate to SARs or other information protected by the BSA, and FinCEN nonpublic memoranda, including Investigative Memos and Intelligence Assessments published by the FinCEN Intelligence Division, which contained confidential personal, business, and/or security threat assessments. At the time of EDWARDS’s arrest, she was in possession of a flash drive appearing to be the flash drive on which she saved the unlawfully disclosed SARs, and a cellphone containing numerous communications over an encrypted application in which she transmitted SARs and other sensitive government information to Reporter-1." We'll have more on this.

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