Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Judge probes destruction of evidence in NSA leak prosecution

A federal judge is investigating allegations that the government may have improperly destroyed documents during the high-profile media leak investigation of National Security Agency whistleblower Thomas Drake.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Stephanie Gallagher’s inquiry was launched after Drake's lawyers in April accused the Pentagon inspector general’s office of destroying possible evidence during Drake’s criminal prosecution, which ended almost four years ago, McClatchy has learned.

The allegations raise new questions about a prosecution that had been excoriated by the presiding judge after the Justice Department’s case against Drake unraveled and resulted in the former senior NSA official pleading guilty to a misdemeanor charge.

As a result of the controversial prosecution, Drake became a symbol of the dangers whistleblowers can face when they help the media, Congress and government watchdogs investigate wrongdoing at intelligence agencies.


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