Intelligence employee pleads guilty to leaking top secret information to journalists

Former counterterrorism analyst leaked multiple reports worth of information to journalist he was dating between 2018 and 2019. He now faces 10 years of jail time.

Defense Intelligence Agency logo
Defense Intelligence Agency logo
Defense Intelligence Agency Twitter
Last Updated:
February 22, 2020 - 8:38pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

A former counterterrorism analyst for the Defense Intelligence Agency pleaded guilty Thursday to illegally leaking top-secret national defense information to journalists.

Prosecutors allege that Henry Kyle Frese a was in a romantic relationship with one of the journalists, and trying to advance her career by obtaining and leaking information that was unrelated to his position. The journalist subsequently published at least eight articles containing information illegally transmitted by the analyst.

At least twice, Frese retweeted the articles containing the information that he leaked.

“He alerted our country’s adversaries to sensitive national defense information, putting the nation’s security at risk,” said Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers.

According to a statement from the Justice Department, Frese compromised the contents of at least five intelligence reports containing information about the weapons systems of a foreign country.

The leaks took place from February 2018 to October 2019.

The U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia said that Frese “violated” the “oath he swore to uphold and engaged in felonious conduct at the expense of our country.”

Frese, who formerly held a top-secret clearance, now faces a maximum of 10 years in federal prison.

Sentencing for Frese is expected to take place on June 18.