Ex-FBI analyst sentenced for accessing activist’s emails to 'protect Mueller'

A former FBI analyst was sentenced to seven days in jail Friday after admitting he illegally accessed an email address belonging to a right-wing Washington lobbyist as part of his efforts to expose an alleged smear campaign against Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

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The former FBI analyst -- Mark Tolson, 60, -- pleaded guilty in a federal court in Alexandria, Va., in September to a misdemeanor charge of computer fraud and abuse, according to Politico.

Tolson said, with help from his wife Sarah Gilbert Fox, he accessed an email account belonging to GOP lobbyist Jack Burkman, photographed “emails of interest,” and tried to hand them over both to the FBI and the press, The Washington Post reported. Fox had worked for Burkman from October 2017 to summer 2018 and had his email password, authorities said. She was not charged.

Tolson reportedly told a federal judge that he accessed the emails without permission in October 2018 after Burkman announced a press conference where he was going to accuse Mueller of sexual assault. The special counsel was investigating Russian meddling and potential collusion with Trump campaign associates during the 2016 presidential election at the time.

Tolson said he accessed Burkman’s email in an attempt to prove he paid women to fabricate the allegations, reports said. The press conference was never held. Also in October 2018, the special counsel's office notified the FBI of an alleged scheme accusing Burkman of offering women money to make false allegations against Mueller. Burkman-- identified in court papers as J.B.-- denied giving anyone money for testimony, the Post reported.

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Tolson was also ordered to pay a $500 fine and serve 50 hours of community service. The judge said he could begin his week-long jail sentence after the holidays, Politico reported.

Fox News’ Brooke Singman and Alex Pappas contributed to this report.