USA charge worker with leaking classified info to reporters

Elias Hubbard
October 10, 2019

Frese is charged with two counts of willful transmission of national defense information to persons not entitled to receive it.

Between April and May 2018, Frese allegedly accessed classified intelligence reports - some of which were unrelated to his job duties - and leaked secret information regarding a foreign country's weapons system to a reporter, according to court documents.

If convicted, Frese faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison on each count. The journalists have not been identified.

Frese has been accused of helping the journalists research information on a classified United States government computer system and providing them with classified information from the reports he accessed.

A criminal indictment said the reporter wrote at least eight articles from five compromised intelligence reports leaked by Frese.

Macias authored or co-authored with Kube a number of articles during the timeframes cited in the court filings that reference USA intelligence reports and weapons systems of foreign nations such as China and Russian Federation.

The indictment by federal prosecutors allege that Frese accessed intelligence reports starting in the spring of 2018 and provided classified information to the first journalist who lived at the same residential address located in Alexandria, Virginia, a Washington D.C. suburb in northern Virginia.

Shortly after Frese allegedly began providing classified intelligence information to the first reporter, he was asked to speak with another journalist to provide more information that was protected as secret, according to authorities.

"Frese stated that he was "down" to help Journalist 2 if it helped Journalist 1 because he wanted to see Journalist 1 'progress, '" the statement said.

Frese "was caught red-handed disclosing sensitive national security information for personal gain", the Justice Department said in a statement.

The disclosures reportedly contained information that "could reasonably be expected to cause serious harm to the national security of the United States". "Frese betrayed the trust placed in him by the American people - a betrayal that risked harming the national security of this country". "This indictment should serve as a clear reminder to all of those similarly entrusted with National Defense Information that unilaterally disclosing such information for personal gain, or that of others, is not selfless or heroic, it is criminal".

Federal investigators believe Frese was "taking direction from members of the media" because he had searched for the intelligence documents that were outside of his area of expertise, according to Alan Kohler, the special agent in charge of counterintelligence at the FBI's field office in Washington.

A USA counter-terrorism analyst has been arrested for allegedly leaking classified information to two journalists over the last two years.

Attorney-General Jeff Session said the agency would take an aggressive tack in leak investigations.

"We're charging more individuals and we're obtaining higher sentences".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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