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Defense Intelligence Agency employee charged with leaking classified information to journalists

Defense Intelligence Agency employee charged with leaking classified information to journalists”

A Defense Intelligence Agency employee with top-secret security clearance was arrested Wednesday and charged with leaking classified information to two reporters.

Henry Kyle Frese, a 30-year-old counter-terrorism analyst at the DIA, allegedly leaked classified information to two reporters whose identities were not unveiled by authorities in 2018 and this year, one of which Frese was romantically involved with, according to the indictment.

During one incident in April 2018, after Frese had accessed an intelligence report for a second time, journalist one asked him whether he was willing to speak to another journalist from a different news outlet. He has been charged with two counts of willful transmission of national defense information.

Frese, 30, of Alexandria, Va., "was caught red-handed disclosing sensitive national security information", according to the Justice Department, which billed the case as part of the Trump administration's prosecutorial crackdown on leakers who provide such materials to the news media and public.

The case is one of six leak cases the Justice Department has charged in the past two years, after then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the agency would take an aggressive tack in leak investigations.

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

Until the criminal case against victor, no one had been charged with leaking classified information since 2013, said John Demers, the head of the Justice Department's National Security Division, in a call with reporters on Wednesday to announce the charges against Frese.

The reporter, believed to be Macias, published eight articles containing classified defense information between May and July of previous year, prosecutors said.

Some of the classified intelligence reports Frese accessed were not connected to his job duties.

The reporter with whom he was apparently involved, a woman, published eight articles containing classified defense information between May and July 2018, prosecutors said. That suggests a tweet from CNBC national security reporter Amanda Macias to be the primary journalist Frese leaked classified reports to based on the criminal indictment. The second journalist is believed to be Kube. "Put simply it threatens American lives".

Human rights lawyer and whistleblower Jesselyn Radack, on Twitter, said that Frese's indictment was more evidence of the Trump administration's "chilling message" to the intelligence community. A relative reached by The Washington Post said Frese's family had no comment.

Representatives for CNBC, NBC News and the Defense Intelligence Agency did not immediately respond to requests for comment.



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