Border Agent Who Grilled Reporter About Leaks Investigated For Computer Misuse

The Washington Post/The Washington Post

The Border Patrol agent who grilled a national security reporter about classified leaks from the U.S. intelligence community is under investigation for the improper use of government computer systems, the New York Times reported Thursday.

Jeffrey Rambo was previously identified as the agent who obtained the confidential travel records of reporter Ali Watkins and pressed her to reveal her sources at a June 2017 meeting. Rambo reportedly used details about Watkins’ trip to Spain with her then-boyfriend James Wolfe, former security director of the Senate Intelligence Committee, to pressure her into divulging information.

Per the Times, the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general is now investigating whether the California-based agent used Watkins’ travel data improperly or illegally.

Customs and Border Protection announced last month that its Office of Professional Responsibility was also looking into Rambo’s actions.

It’s still unclear whether any other government officials were involved in this extracurricular effort to obtain confidential information from journalists, or if Rambo was acting alone.

Wolfe was arrested last month on charges of lying to the FBI about his contacts with reporters. He has pleaded not guilty.

News of his arrest also revealed that federal investigators secretly seized Watkins’ emails and phone records—the first such incident under the Trump administration.

Watkins was working at Politico in the summer of 2017 and joined the Times in December. The newspaper reassigned her from D.C. to a new beat in New York last month.

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