The Department of Justice has tasked a former Minneapolis FBI agent with the distribution of confidential documents to a news organization, according to a complaint filed Tuesday in Minnesota.
The agent, Terry J. Albury, was charged with two charges of illegally maintaining and revealing the national defense information "to a reporter for a national media organization". The complaint does not cite the reporter or the organization, but it says that Albury had unauthorized possession of the material between February 2016 and January 31, 2017.
According to the complaint, Albury shared a document on the evaluation of confidential human sources or informants and another document about threats emanating from certain individuals "from a particular country in the Middle East". Albury is also accused of owning docume last year "regarding the use of an online platform for recruitment by a particular terrorist group" and failed to deliver the documents to authorities.
JaneAnne Murray and Joshua Dratel, Albury lawyers, said in a statement: "Terry Albury served the US with distinction both here and abroad in Iraq, taking full responsibility for the behavior described in the information would like to add that the actions of Mr. Albury as the only African American FBI agent in Minnesota were driven by a diligent commitment to long-term national security and the handling of well-documented systemic prejudice within the FBI. "
The prosecution charges the prosecution Department of National Security of the Ministry of Justice charged. A spokesman for the Ministry of Justice declined to comment. The FBI also declined to comment.
This is the second leak investigation into which the news organization Intercept participated. Last June, Reality Leigh Winner, a 25-year-old government contractor, was charged with incorrect handling of classified information. Federal prosecutors stated that Winner has handed over a top secret document to the National Security Agency to a news organization.
This case, in which Trump's first criminal complaint was filed in a leak investigation, was released shortly after the release of a US intelligence document, Russian government efforts involved using hacking techniques against employees of a company providing technical assistance to state electoral authorities.
"We understand that there is an espionage law against an alleged FBI whistleblower in Minnesota accused of distributing material on FBI information using confidential human sources," said Intercept Editor-in-Chief Betsy Reed in a statement on Wednesday ,
"News reports indicate that the prosecution may be related to the stories published by The Intercept," said Reed. "We do not discuss anonymous sources, the use of the espionage law to prosecute informants who are concerned with matters of vital public concern is outrageous, and all journalists have the right under the first supplement to report these stories."
Die Minneapolis Star Tribune reported on Tuesday that a previously-sealed search warrant resulted in the case that the FBI linked references to secret documents in the Federal Federation of Freedom of Information Act requests from the March 2016 interception to Albury activity on FBI information systems.
According to the Star Tribune, the FBI identifies 27 government documents, including 16 classified online published between April 2016 and February 2017 by Intercepts, discovering that Albury had accessed more than two-thirds of the files.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions said last year that the Justice Division has tripled the number of leak investigations compared to the number that is being implemented at the end of the Obama administration
meetings also said in August that he had the policy of the Ministry of Justice checked over the issue of subpoenas to reporters.
"This culture of licking must stop," he said.