WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The US Department of Justice has hired a former Minnesota FBI agent to hand over classified information to the online news site The Intercept, Minnesota Public Radio reported Wednesday.
Terry Albury was reportedly accused by the Department of National Security of the Department in two cases this week, including "knowingly and intentionally" transmitting documents and information about national defense to a national news organization reporter.
Albury, the only African-American FBI agent in Minnesota, was named Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport is working on anti-terror matters, MPR News said.
Albury's lawyers, Jane Anne Murray and Joshua Dratel, said in a statement that their client was "driven by a diligent commitment to long-term national security and well-documented systemic bias within the FBI."
The lawyers told Albury "takes full responsibility" for the alleged behavior.
The Department of Justice and the FBI did not immediately respond to requests for comments.
A source familiar with the case told Reuters that The Intercept was the recipient of leaks for which Albury was charged.
In January 201
The Intercept filed an indictment of Albury and published a statement by Editor-in-Chief Betsy Reed stating that the news agency was not discussing anonymous sources.
"The use of the spy law to prosecute informants who are concerned with matters of vital public concern is outrage, and all journalists have the right under the First Amendment to report these stories," Reed said.
Last year, a US intelligence official accused of illegally distributing a secret report on Russian interference in The Intercept's US election pleaded not guilty of espionage crime.
Reality Leigh Winner was charged with passing on the National Security Agency's top secret report to The Intercept while working with Pluribus International Corp., which provides analytical services to US defense and intelligence agencies.
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a crackdown on leaks last year following a series of embarrassing revelations by President Donald Trump's White House.
Reporting by Mark Hosenball; Additional reporting by Eric Walsh; Letter from Mohammad Zargham; Edited by Leslie Adler