Wayne Simmons, used by Fox News for analysis, lied about CIA career: prosecutors
Unclear yet if he worked for a CIA contractor and exaggerated, or had no agency connection at all
Federal prosecutors say a Maryland man who offered national-security commentary on Fox News has been charged with fraud for falsely claiming a CIA career.
Authorities say they arrested 62-year-old Wayne Simmons of Annapolis on Thursday and charged him with fraud against the U.S. and making false statements to the government.
An indictment states Simmons lied about having a 27-year career with the CIA as an "Outside Paramilitary Special Operations" officer. The indictment alleges that Simmons made the claim as he sought security clearances and in seeking work as a defence contractor.
As recently as April, Simmons was identified on air on Fox radio as a "Fox News contributor." In a 2009 Fox News clip, he calls House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi "a pathological liar" in a segment about CIA interrogation techniques.
A Fox News spokeswoman, Carly Shanahan, said Simmons was never more than a guest on the network and that the reference to him on air as "Fox News contributor" was an error. "He was never a paid commentator," she said.
Host Bret Baier made a much similar statement as Fox addressed the issue on air Thursday night.
Simmons' website indicates he made appearances on Fox since 2002, and a YouTube search yields several results, as he appears on air to talk about, among other subjects, U.S. relations with Iran and Iraq, the attack in Benghazi, and the use of waterboarding as an investigative tactic.
At an initial appearance Thursday in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Simmons was ordered held pending a detention hearing Friday. No lawyer has yet entered an appearance on his behalf.
With files from CBC News