Border Agent Who Questioned Reporter Investigated for Computer Misuse


Law enforcement officials have said they can find no evidence that Mr. Rambo was officially assigned to work on leak investigations. Officials at Customs and Border Protection and its parent agency, Homeland Security, have declined to answer questions about Mr. Rambo’s role, citing the internal investigation.

Mr. Rambo has not replied to repeated requests for comment. But several government officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, have supplied some basic facts.

The officials confirmed that Mr. Rambo had been assigned to the National Targeting Center, which is why he was in the Washington area and might have had access to Ms. Watkins’ private travel information.

It remains unclear whether Mr. Rambo handled or heard about an official F.B.I. request to the center for Mr. Wolfe’s travel records, and, if so, whether that led to the discovery that Ms. Watkins was his traveling companion. According to Ms. Watkins’s accounts, Mr. Rambo spoke with enthusiasm to her about Mr. Trump’s crackdown on leaks, telling her that “we’re finally going to be able to drain the swamp,” raising the possibility that he had searched the database for her records on his own initiative.

Either way, for Mr. Rambo, the venture into combating leaks appears to be the latest expression of an entrepreneurial personality. Public records and internet archives show that starting in his teenage years, he has embarked on ambitious enterprises, although they have produced only modest results.

When he was 16, records show, he helped start what he called an “online consulting company,” called Rambo Harrington & Hopkins, to advise small businesses how to use the web. In 2003, he announced in a news release that his business had “evolved into Brandergy, Inc., a new firm with a new sense of direction and purpose.”

“The new firm, where Rambo finds himself as Managing Director and CEO, will focus all of its attention to the Branding world,” said the release, written when Mr. Rambo was 17.


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