Minneapolis FBI Agent Leaked Classified Documents Because of Racism
The rank politicization of the top echelons of the FBI has tainted the standards and credibility of the nation’s top law enforcement agency. Former FBI Director James Comey felt empowered to take matters into his own hands, as did his sidekick former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, including leaking documents to the media.
So perhaps it should be no surprise the unlawful conduct so rampant in Washington has trickled down to the Minneapolis field office with the prosecution of a former agent this week in the Twin Cities.
The Star Tribune’s coverage positioned the case that involved the leak of secret documents as a threat to the freedom of the press.
A former Minneapolis FBI agent caught leaking classified documents to news outlet The Intercept pleaded guilty in federal court in St. Paul Tuesday, as his attorneys said he did so as an “act of conscience” against the bureau’s treatment of minorities.
In a case that drew sharp criticism from press freedom organizations, Justice Department prosecutors charged Terry James Albury last month with unlawfully disclosing and retaining national defense information, and for failing to turn over a document “relating to the use of an online platform for recruitment by a specific terrorist group” last year.
The motivation for the rogue G-man’s admitted actions shows just how far the boundaries have slipped under the agency’s corrupt culture.
Prosecutor David Recker, a trial attorney for the National Security Division, asked Albury if his data leak could have caused “serious damage” to the country and endanger U.S. citizens.
“That is correct,” said Albury, dressed in a striped gray suit.
But Albury felt justified in jeopardizing the national security and personal security of others because of his personal agenda over alleged racism in his workplace, according to his attorneys.
Albury declined to comment Tuesday after his plea hearing, but Dratel and Murray issued a written statement that echoed one they released last month stating that Albury was motivated by a desire to address the “well-documented biases within the FBI.” They noted in Tuesday’s statement that “the problem of racism both within the FBI and its interactions with minority communities was especially pronounced.”
“Terry Albury is a good and honorable man,” the statement began. “His conduct in this case was an act of conscience. It was driven by his belief that there was no viable alternative to remedy the abuses he sought to address.”
Federal prosecutors aren’t buying it.
Albury conducted “cut and paste” activity on a document and accessed about a half dozen other secret documents, at least one of which was later published online. He used a digital camera to photograph documents at his office at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, where he was a special agent working on counterterrorism and other matters.
The federal judge overseeing the disgraced former agent’s sentencing also sounded skeptical, warning the now admitted felon not to expect kid glove treatment at his sentencing hearing coming up soon. Now when will DOJ prosecutors in Washington turn their attention to the big fish in Washington?