The New York Times reporter caught up in a federal leak investigation is slated to be reassigned away from her Washington, D.C. beat "for a fresh start."
The paper announced Tuesday that Ali Watkins will be moved to New York City to cover local stories amid the fallout from a scandal involving her and a Senate Intelligence Committee aide.
"We hold our journalists and their work to the highest standards," the Times' executive editor Dean Baquet wrote to employees. "We are giving Ali an opportunity to show that she can live up to them. I believe she can. I also believe that The Times must be a humane place that can allow for second chances when there are mitigating circumstances."
Watkins had a three-year affair with James Wolfe, who formerly worked as a security director on the aforementioned Senate panel. He was recently indicted as part of a leak investigation that also involved prosecutors seizing Watkins' email and phone records.
Wolfe pleaded not guilty in June to lying to the FBI regarding his contacts with reporters. Watkins previously covered the powerful Senate Intelligence Committee, although she claimed Wolfe was not one of her sources during that time.
"I respect and understand the Times' review and agree that I should have handled aspects of my past relationships and disclosures differently," Watkins said in a statement.
"I sincerely regret putting the Times in a difficult position and am very grateful for the support I've received from my editors and colleagues here. I also appreciate the review's conclusion that my reporting has been fact-based and accurate."
The Trump administration, through the Justice Department, has pledged to crack down on leakers.
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