Inner City Press

In Other Media-eg New Statesman, AJE, FP, Georgia, NYTAzerbaijan, CSM Click here to contact us     .

These reports are usually available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis

Share |   

Follow on TWITTER
 More: InnerCityPro

MRL on Patreon

Home -

These reports are usually available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis


(FP Twitterati 100, 2013)

ICP on YouTube
Sept 24, 2013

UN: Sri Lanka


FOIA Finds  

Google, Asked at UN About Censorship, Moved to Censor the Questioner, Sources Say, Blaming UN - Update - Editorial

Support this work by buying this book

Click on cover for secure site orders

also includes "Toxic Credit in the Global Inner City"




Bank Beat

Freedom of Information

How to Contact Us

Unsealing of FinCEN Leaker Edwards Letter Was Mislabeled Others Still Not Docketed

By Matthew Russell Lee, Video Patreon Order

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Oct 27 – 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.

 On August 4, Inner City Press filed its second opposition to the attempt to make Edwards' submissions to SDNY Judge Woods disappear as supposedly not judicial documents.

 On October 20, Judge Woods in a 12-page order denied Inner City Press' request (full order on DocumentCould here) and quoted below.

 Now on October 27 Edwards' lawyer has written in again, stating that a letter was mislabeled, and apparently begrudglingly partially unredacting another - such that most of the page is still redacted. We'll have more on this.

On October 26 the US filed its sentencing memo, asking for six months in jail and saying, among other things, that "Reporter-1" at BuzzFeed shared with Edwards a still unpublished news article. And the letters are still being withheld? We'll have more on this.

  Back on October 23, Edwards' new lawyer filed a sentencing memorandum that included quotes from BuzzFeed's emails, themes they "returned to more than once when he sought information from Dr. Edwards." She was told, "Wyden was livid." More than 2400 pages of WhatsApp communication are offered to the Court - but the letters are withheld. This makes no sense.

From Judge Wood's October 20 order, now in a different light: "Matthew Lee of Inner City Press requested access to the documents, arguing that “the public and the press have a presumptive First Amendment and common law right of Case 1:19-cr-00064-GHW Document 80 Filed 10/20/20 Page 7 of 12 8 access to criminal proceedings and records.”1  July 21, 2020 Letter, Dkt. No. 60, at 1. The letter respectfully disagreed with the Court’s determination that “documents that trigger a Federal criminal case conference are not judicial documents.” Id. at 2. The letter also argued that the public interest in the documents was not small. Id. On July 30, 2020, Dr. Sours Edwards filed her opposition to the request. July 30, 2020 Letter, Dkt. No. 65. Mr. Lee submitted replies on August 4, 2020 and August 5, 2020. August 4, 2020 and August 5, 2020 Emails, Dkt. Nos. 66 and 67... The Court acknowledges that some may be interested in seeing what a defendant in the position of Dr. Sours Edwards might choose to say to the Court in such straights. Especially because her counsel advised that whatever Dr. Sours Edwards wrote was something that should not be considered by the Court. The prospect of a cri de coeur written by a criminal defendant without the benefit of counsel may represent an enticing opportunity for an unfiltered look inside of the defendant’s mind. But evaluating the fairness and integrity of the Court’s proceedings and decisions does not require disclosure of the content of those submissions. Nor, in the Court’s view, considering all of the circumstances, would it be a fair result for the defendant. Because Dr. Sours Edwards’ pro se, ex parte submissions are not judicial documents, the application to unseal them is DENIED. SO ORDERED. Dated: October 20, 2020 GREGORY H. WOODS United States District Judge." We'll have more on this.

 In this context it may be useful to consider a document signed "May Edwards" which says she has and has submitted information on questions including "Yemen (2015)," Libya, Iran, China, Maria Butina and the Clinton Foundation, photo 1 here, 2 here.

And now, with more and more coming out in the FinCEN Files, the release of these documents is more important than ever. Still, on October 15 Judge Woods gave more time for even the sentencing submission to be not public, pending further redaction: "Re: United States v. Natalie Mayflower Sours Edwards 19-cr-00064 (GHW) Dear Judge Woods: I write to ask that the Court extend my time for filing a public version of my sentencing submission until October 23, 2020. The reason for this request is that some of the material that is cited in the submission and the accompanying exhibits is covered by the Protective Order and contains material that is “restricted or confidential” under the order or is otherwise sensitive. The parties need additional time to determine what material may be filed by ECF and what material must be filed under seal or in a redacted form. This requires the government to confer with other federal agencies. The parties are working to come to an agreement on this issue and anticipate being able to do so by October 23.  Since the government and the Court already have the full version of the sentencing submission and exhibits, granting this request need not delay sentencing. Respectfully submitted. cc: AUSA Daniel Richenthal AUSA Kimberly Ravener

Application granted. The deadline for Defendant to file a public version of her sentencing submission is extended to October 23, 2020."

On October 1 it was announced, "MEMO ENDORSEMENT as to Natalie Mayflower Sours Edwards (1) granting [68] LETTER MOTION addressed to Judge Gregory H. Woods from Stephanie Carvlin dated 9/29/2020 re: modify schedule for sentencing submissions. ENDORSEMENT: Application granted. Sentencing in this matter is adjourned to November 9, 2020."

 Inner City Press entirely opposes the disappearance of these judicial documents, submitted to SDNY Judge Gregory Woods. And so on August 5, it submitted this: "I write for a second time pursuant to your July 22, 2020 order and in further support of the July 21 application for press and public access to submissions to this Court by defendant Natalie Mayflower Sours Edwards, that triggered a judicial conference. They are judicial documents, contrary to the July 30 opposition submitted by Edwards' counsel.   On August 4 Inner City and I emailed to your Chambers our reply. Twenty four hours later, it is not docketed. So, first, this is a formal request that our responses to Edwards' counsel's submission be docketed as hers was, as Docket No. 65.   Second, in further opposition to the withdrawal / disappearance of what Ms. Edwards submitted to this Court triggering the conference(s), since for now we cannot know of what it consisted, consider that the following is already in the public record, citing Yemen, China, Clinton, Iran: here and here

 Furthermore, even what is characterized as attorney - client is of public interest, including because after having know to be well compensated counsel from Brafman & Associates, now Ms. Edwards has taxpayer funded CJA counsel. Was she paying Brafman & Associates? Or was someone else paying?   We had hoped for docketing and ruling on the judicial documents issue without getting into the specifics of press interest, which as in FOIA litigation should not be inquired into by a court or government agency." Watch this site.

Watch this site.


Feedback: Editorial [at]

Box 20047, Dag Hammarskjold Station NY NY 10017

Reporter's mobile (and weekends): 718-716-3540

Other, earlier Inner City Press are listed here, and some are available in the ProQuest service, and now on Lexis-Nexis.

 Copyright 2006-2019 Inner City Press, Inc. To request reprint or other permission, e-contact Editorial [at] for