Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Department of Justice Charges FBI Whistleblower Under Espionage Act

A FORMER FBI agent has been charged with two counts related to the unauthorized disclosure of national security information, according to documents filed by the Department of Justice this week, marking the latest instance of the Trump administration’s stated intention to crack down on leaks to the press.

The charges, filed by the DOJ’s National Security Division in Minnesota, accuse Terry J. Albury of one count of “unauthorized disclosure of National Defense information” and one count of “unauthorized retention of National Defense information.” The Star Tribune, a Minneapolis-based newspaper, reported that “Albury is listed as a special agent for the FBI with a phone number corresponding to its Minneapolis division in an online directories.”

The Star Tribune linked the charges revealed Wednesday to a series of stories published by The Intercept regarding a set of secret FBI guidelines. The Intercept’s editor-in-chief, Betsy Reed, provided the following statement:

We understand that there is an Espionage Act prosecution underway against an alleged FBI whistleblower in Minnesota, who is accused of leaking materials relating to the FBI’s use of confidential human sources. News reports have suggested that the prosecution may be linked to stories published by The Intercept. We do not discuss anonymous sources. The use of the Espionage Act to prosecute whistleblowers seeking to shed light on matters of vital public concern is an outrage, and all journalists have the right under the First Amendment to report these stories.

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