Politics

BREAKING, Ex Intelligence Officer Arrested For Leaking Info To Reporters

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A former United States intelligence officer has been arrested after being accused of leaking top secret information to a news reporter.

The ex intelligence office, Daniel Everette Hale, 31, from Nashville was arrested and charged under the Espionage Act, The New York Times reported.

Mr. Hale’s case is the latest example of the Justice Department’s efforts to find and prosecute officials who provide reporters with sensitive information, an aggressive approach dating to the George W. Bush administration. The number of leak cases accelerated under President Barack Obama, and the heightened pace has continued under President Trump.

Prosecutors said that in 2013, while Mr. Hale was enlisted in the Air Force and assigned to the National Security Agency, he began communicating with a reporter. Details in the indictment suggest the reporter worked for The Intercept, a news website. This is the third case in which someone was prosecuted after providing the media outlet with classified information.

Mr. Hale met with the reporter multiple times and communicated using encryption. Prosecutors said that Mr. Hale left the Air Force and was then assigned to the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, where he worked as a political geography analyst.

At the agency, prosecutors said, Mr. Hale printed 36 documents from his Top Secret computer. Mr. Hale provided at least 17 of them to the reporter and The Intercept, which published the documents in whole or in part. Eleven of the published documents were marked as Top Secret or Secret, prosecutors said. The documents appear to be used in Intercept reporting about the military’s use of drones.

According to the indictment, in August 2014, Mr. Hale’s cellphone contact list included information for the reporter, and he possessed two thumb drives. One thumb drive contained a page marked “secret” from a classified document that Mr. Hale had printed in February 2014. Prosecutors said Mr. Hale had tried to delete the document from the thumb drive.