Who is Natalie Mayflower Sours Edwards? Whistleblower who leaked 50,000 secret reports on Trump aides jailed
Her sentencing was condemned by BuzzFeed which published the leaked reports after Natalie Mayflower Sours Edwards coordinated with their reporter Jason Leopold
A former senior official of the US Treasury Department has been sentenced to six months in prison after she pleaded guilty to leaking secret information about Donald Trump's campaign officials to BuzzFeed reporter Jason Leopold. Dr Natalie Mayflower Sours Edwards conspired to provide sensitive details about former Trump campaign officials Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, and others. She was charged in October 2018 for unauthorized disclosure of suspicious activity reports (SARs) - which are used by banks to send alerts about money laundering or embezzlement to law enforcement officials. On Thursday, June 3, 2021, Edwards was sentenced by US District Judge Gregory Woods in Manhattan.
According to prosecutors in Edwards' case, she reportedly leaked over 50,000 reports and documents over a period of one year. The reports primarily comprised undisclosed information about Paul Manafort, Rick Gates as well as on the Russian embassy in Washington, DC. Manafort, who was arrested on grounds of bank and tax fraud, was later pardoned by Trump. The leaked reports also revealed wire transfers between the government officials, the Russian embassy, and a Moscow Spy Konstantin Kilimnik, as reported by Daily Mail.
Who is Natalie Mayflower Sours Edwards?
The former senior adviser at US Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), Edwards hails from Quinton, Virginia. The 43-year-old pleaded guilty to her crimes back in January 2020. She had waited for over a year for her sentencing, after seeking no prison time. Though she pleaded guilty, Edwards maintained that she was a 'whistleblower' who approached the media to uncover suspicious financial activity at the department.
She apologized for her actions but added that she was compelled to take that step since she could not "stand by" and accept the matter in silence. "Blowing the whistle through proper channels is an incredibly valuable exercise," Judge Woods acknowledged, adding that Edwards took the activity too far by disclosing over 50,000 reports and records including the secretive SARs. He added that Edwards was "violating her oath and exposing sensitive law enforcement information that could be used to help the bad guys and to tarnish the reputations and interests of innocent people was both illegal and wrong."
Edwards' sentencing was vehemently condemned by many, including BuzzFeed spokesperson Matt Mittenthal, who called her "a brave whistleblower who fought to warn the public about grave risks to America's national security, first through the official whistleblower process, and then through the press."
Today Natalie Mayflower Sours Edwards was sentenced to six months in jail for her role in exposing corruption on a global scale. The #FinCENFiles team is forever grateful for her tremendous bravery. https://t.co/TGKdywhgU6 pic.twitter.com/rpR1nPQtIv— Ariel Kaminer (@arielkaminer) June 3, 2021
Former Trump advisor Paul Manafort was sentenced to seven and a half years in prison for bank and tax fraud, illegal foreign lobbying, and witness tampering conspiracies before being released due to the Covid-19 pandemic. He is currently serving home confinement after confessing his crimes. Meanwhile, another person mentioned in those reports, Rick Gates was Trump's deputy campaign manager. He cooperated with former Special Counsel Robert Mueller on his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 US election.