A former intelligence analyst working as a contractor for the federal government has been charged with stealing classified documents and turning them over to a reporter.
The reporter was not named, but many people think that the recipient of those files was The Intercept, who has a history of publishing leaked documents, including the infamous Reality Winner case. It is believed that Daniel E. Hale, the former analyst, was working with reporter Jeremy Scahill of The Intercept. The Intercept published some of those files on drone warfare in 2015.
AG Bill Barr says the DOJ is investigating multiple leaks.
This would be the third leak prosecution involving The Intercept over the past several years. Reality Winner, a former National Security Agency contractor, and Terry Albury, a former FBI agent, were previously indicted for providing classified information to the website. The Trump administration has ramped up its investigations of illegal government leaks. Attorney General William Barr told the Senate Judiciary Committee on May 1 that the Justice Department has “multiple” ongoing criminal leak investigations.
According to prosecutors, Hale printed out 36 documents from his Top Secret computer system, and provided at least 17 to the reporter and the reporter’s online news organization. According to the indictment, 11 of the documents published were marked as having top-secret or secret information.
Hale faces of slew of charges for illegally obtaining, retaining and transmitted national defense information. He faces up to 50 years in prison for the charges, but is likely to face a much lighter sentence if convicted.