Northwestern Events Calendar


The FinCen Files: The “forgotten” whistleblower and the investigative journalists who took on the global banking system.

When: Thursday, March 3, 2022
5:30 PM - 6:30 PM CT

Where: 303 E. Wacker, 16th Floor, Chicago, IL 60601

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Cost: Free

Contact: Stacy Simpson   (847) 467-2961

Group: Medill Events - All

Category: Other, Lectures & Meetings


Starting in late 2017, then senior Treasury Department official Natalie Edwards quietly leaked thousands of secret financial documents to Jason Leopold, a veteran investigative reporter with BuzzFeed News. The records for the first time exposed the movement of trillions of dollars in dirty money through the U.S. banking system, empowering criminals, kleptocrats and corrupt foreign leaders. BuzzFeed, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and media outlets around the world, published in 2020 the groundbreaking FinCen Files, which spurred sweeping reforms in the U.S. and abroad and was named a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Edwards, however, sits in a federal prison in West Virginia, convicted of leaking confidential government records. The Washington Post has called her the "forgotten whistleblower." For the first time, two of the lead reporters, Jason Leopold and Michael Sallah, will talk about the case, the critical relationship between whistleblowers and investigative journalists and the groundbreaking project. They’ll be joined by David McCraw, deputy general counsel of the New York Times.

The discussion will be moderated by Debbie Cenziper, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative
journalist and Medill associate professor and director of the Medill Investigative Lab.

Jason Leopold
Jason Leopold is a senior investigative reporter on the BuzzFeed News investigations team and a two-time finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in international reporting. Leopold's Freedom of Information Act work has been profiled by dozens of radio, television, and print outlets, including a 2015 front-page story in the New York Times. In 2020, the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), a data research organization out of Syracuse University, identified Leopold as "the most active individual FOIA litigator in the United States today." In 2016, Leopold was awarded the FOI award from Investigative Reporters & Editors and was inducted into the National Freedom of Information Hall of Fame by the Newseum Institute.

Mike Sallah

Michael Sallah is a veteran reporter and editor who specializes in investigative journalism and teaches in the Medill Investigative Lab.

A Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author, he has worked on the investigations teams of The Washington Post, The Miami Herald and USA TODAY on stories ranging from public corruption and police abuses to international money laundering. He is co-author of the book "The Yankee Comandante: The Untold Story of Courage, Passion and One America's Fight to Liberate Cuba."

David McCraw

David McCraw serves as the lead newsroom lawyer for The New York Times.  He has spent 19 years at The Times and currently holds the position of Senior Vice President and Deputy General Counsel.  He is the author of the book “Truth in Our Times: Inside the Fight for Press Freedom in the Age of Alternative Facts” (St. Martin’s 2019), a first-person account of the legal battles that helped shape The Times’s coverage of Donald Trump, Harvey Weinstein, national security, and the rise of political partisanship in America. 

In addition to advising the newsroom on libel and other legal issues, Mr. McCraw is one of the nation’s most prolific litigators of Freedom of Information cases and oversees international security for Times journalists working in high-risk areas. 

Mr. McCraw is an adjunct faculty member at Harvard Law School and the NYU School of Law.  He is a graduate of the University of Illinois, Cornell University, and Albany Law School.

Register Add to Calendar

Add Event To My Group:

Please sign-in