Published On: Thu, Oct 18th, 2018

Treasury official, Natalie Edwards, aka May Edwards, charged with leaking financial documents to BuzzFeed during Russian probe

A Treasury Department official was arrested and charged with disclosing to a reporter information about sensitive financial transactions related to the Russia investigation, the latest move in the Justice Department’s efforts to target government leaks to the media.

Natalie Edwards

Natalie Mayflower Sours Edwards, 40, was arrested on charges that she leaked to BuzzFeed News multiple reports about suspicious financial transactions involving ex-Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort.

The reports also involved his former business partner Rick Gates, the Russian Embassy, alleged Russian spy Maria Butina and the Prevezon Alexander real estate company and were later detailed in roughly 12 articles published by BuzzFeed, according to an 18-page federal complaint.

U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said in a statement that Edwards “betrayed her position of trust by repeatedly disclosing highly sensitive information.”

“SARs, which are filed confidentially by banks and other financial institutions to alert law enforcement to potentially illegal transactions, are not public documents, and it is an independent federal crime to disclose them outside of one’s official duties,” Berman said.

The prosecution of Edwards is intended to send a signal that Treasury will punish violations of a law designed to protect sensitive client information that banks flag to the department, said a senior department official who asked not to be identified.

The criminal complaint filed Tuesday alleges that at least one other person was involved in the effort to leak the so-called SARs but provides no name and few details on that individual. The stories for which Edwards served as a source spanned a year, with the most recent one published on Monday, FBI special agent Emily Eckstut wrote in the complaint.

Edwards’ Facebook reveals several anti-Hillary Clinton posts, as well as a lengthy Facebook post detailing her frustration with the public’s handling of the Christine Blasey Ford/Kavanaugh hearings.

She wrote, “As a woman, watching the hearings, I believe something happened to Dr. Ford, but I do not believe it was by the person she claims. False accusations should be charged and/or handled accordingly. This man has been accused of ‘criminal’ activity on the national stage. Criminal activity that has no evidence or corroboration, no location, no timeline. I would have come out swinging as he did if I had been accused of a ‘criminal’ activity I know I did not commit.”

Edwards added, “Next time a woman’s son calls and says ‘mom I was at a party and have been accused of doing something sexually that I didn’t do”, is the standard set now that her response should be “I’m sorry son but I believe her until you prove otherwise’?”

Natalie Mayflower Sours Edwards, who goes by May Edwards, was born Natalie Mayflower Sours in Virginia. Her family descends from a Native American tribe that received state recognition in 1983 and federal recognition earlier this year, the Chickahominy people.

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- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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