A Defense Intelligence Agency analyst is charged with leaking classified information to two reporters, including one he was allegedly in a romantic relationship with, officials announced Wednesday.
According to an indictment filed in the case, Henry Kyle Frese, 30, accessed information last year unrelated to his job and related to a foreign country’s weapons. After that, he allegedly spoke to the two journalists, and one of them published an article containing “top secret” classified information from the report he accessed.
Last month, he allegedly accessed two more reports classified “secret” and leaked the information to one of the journalists. Presumably unbeknownst to him, the FBI was tapping his phone. It’s unclear from the court filing if the second leak led to any more published stories and if it related to the same country and its weapons systems.
The journalists and the news outlets where they work aren’t identified in the court filings, which is standard for people mentioned in federal indictments who aren’t themselves charged.
Prosecution against people accused of leaking classified information to the media have been more common in the United States in recent years, according to data from the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. In at least one ongoing case, against a former intelligence agent named Daniel Hale, who is accused of leaking information to the media about the use of drones against al-Qaeda, defense attorneys have argued the law is being used to suppress the freedom of the press, the Associated Press reported last month.