A U.S. Treasury Department official has been criminally charged with leaking confidential documents relating to former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, the Russian embassy and others, to a reporter from digital media company BuzzFeed, Manhattan federal prosecutors announced on Wednesday.
Natalie May Edwards, a senior adviser in the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), was arrested on Tuesday and charged with unauthorized disclosure of suspicious activity reports, according to the office of U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman. She was expected to make an initial appearance in Virginia federal court later in the day.
A lawyer for Edwards could not immediately be reached for comment. BuzzFeed also did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Suspicious activity reports are submitted by banks to alert law enforcement to potentially illegal transactions. Prosecutors said that beginning in October 2017, Edwards disclosed suspicious activity reports connected to Manafort and his longtime associate Richard Gates, the Russian embassy and accused Russian spy Maria Butina.
The disclosures were reported in a series of articles in BuzzFeed related to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of possible coordination between U.S. President Donald Trump’s 2016 election campaign and Russia, according to prosecutors.