Defense Intelligence Agency leaker, US arrests counterterrorism analyst.
A Defense Intelligence Agency analyst has been arrested for allegedly leaking classified materials to two journalists, including one he was having a romantic relationship with.
Henry Kyle Frese, 30, was arrested on Wednesday over charges he leaked the information about a foreign country’s weapons system to two journalists in 2018 and 2019.
The information the counter-terrorism analyst allegedly leaked to a journalist with whom he was apparently romantically involved appeared in at least eight different news stories.
Frese, who had top security clearance, is charged with two counts of willful transmission of national defense information, according to the U.S. Justice Department.
While the Justice Department did not name the journalists, they have been identified as CNBC’s national security reporter Amanda Macias and NBC’s national security reporter Courtney Kube.
The Justice Department said each reporter worked for a different outlet owned by the same parent company.
The NBC reporter involved made headlines separately on Wednesday before Frese’s arrest was made public.
Footage emerged of Kube’s young son interrupting her live cross about the ongoing conflict in Syria.
Descriptions of tweets included in the court documents match those sent out by Macias and Kube last year.
Frese was allegedly living with one of the reporters in Alexandria, Virginia, at the time.
According to court documents, Frese accessed an intelligence report unrelated to his job duties on multiple occasions in mid-April to early May last year.
A week after he accessed the report for the second time, he allegedly received a Twitter direct message from the first reporter asking if he would be willing to speak to a second journalist.
He said he was ‘down’ to help if it helped her because he wanted to see her ‘progress’, according to the court filings.
He spoke to both journalists on April 27, 2018 soon after he looked at the intelligence report again.
The first journalist then published an online article about 30 minutes after they spoke that contained classified national defense information, the court filings state.
When the first journalist tweeted a link to her story, Frese later re-tweeted the article, according to the court documents. Frese has previously re-tweeted several of Macias’s stories about national security issues.
On September 11 this year, the FBI intercepted a phone called between Frese and the first journalist discussing the second reporter and her assignments at work.
Frese then allegedly spoke to the second reporter after accessing further intelligence reports on September 24.
He is accused of giving that reporter classified information. At that point, Frese’s phone was being tracked on court-authorized surveillance.
Authorities said the disclosure of the classified materials could have caused serious harm to U.S. national security.
This marks the sixth federal case involving leaks of classified information in a little over two years. A crackdown on leakers was initiated by the Trump administration in 2017 and led by then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions.