A U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency employee was arrested Wednesday on federal charges that he leaked classified national defense information to two journalists - one of them romantically involved with him.
Henry Kyle Frese, a counterterrorism analyst with the DIA, allegedly shared intelligence related to the capabilities of foreign weapons systems with the unnamed journalists, one of whom he was in a relationship with, according to court documents.
Shortly after Frese allegedly began providing classified intelligence information to the first reporter, he was asked to speak with another journalist to provide more information that was protected as secret, according to authorities.
Frese, who had a high-level security clearance, was due to appear in USA district court in Alexandria on Wednesday, charged with willful transmission of national defense information.
Frese "was caught red-handed disclosing sensitive national security information for personal gain", the DoJ said in a statement. A crackdown on leakers was initiated by the Trump administration in 2017 and led by then attorney general, Jeff Sessions.
Macias authored or co-authored with Kube a number of articles during the timeframes cited in the court filings that reference USA intelligence reports and weapons systems of foreign nations such as China and Russian Federation.More news: Facebook Rejects Biden Campaign’s Request to Ban Trump Advertisement
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The government also intercepted a call in September during which Frese allegedly read classified national defense information to the second journalist, the documents say.
Attorney General for the Eastern District of Virginia G. Zachary Terwilliger, right, accompanied by Assistant United States Attorney Danya Atiyeh, left, announce the arrest of Henry Kyle Frese, a Defense Intelligence Agency official charged with leaking classified information to two journalists.
Prosecutors said journalist one published at least eight articles that contained classified information related to information obtained by Frese.
According to court documents, Frese re-tweeted several stories written by Macias, including a report on "Putin's "unlimited range" nuclear-powered cruise missile" citing "U.S. intel reports". The affidavit indicates that the FBI investigation involved an extensive review of Frese's publicly available Twitter messages, as well as court-approved monitoring of some cellphone calls and texting records.
It was not immediately clear whether Frese had a lawyer who could comment on his behalf. Demers said the department has charged six individuals with leaks in just over two years. After her arrest in 2017, she pleaded guilty to federal charges and was sentenced to about five years in prison. The journalists and their media outlets did not respond to requests for comment.
"Our investigators and prosecutors nationwide will continue to devote themselves to media leak cases in order to protect our nation from the threat posed by the rare intelligence community official who breaks his or her oath", added Dmers.