A former Minnesota FBI agent has been charged with leaking classified information to a journalist, reportedly pertaining to a series of articles published by online news site The Intercept.
Terry Albury, an airport counterterrorism liaison, was charged this week by the Justice Department for “knowingly and willfully” transmitting documents and information relating to national defense to a reporter, Minnesota Public Radio reports.
He was also charged for refusing to hand over documents to the government, MPR News reports.
Albury’s attorneys, JaneAnne Murray and Joshua Dratel said their client, the only African-American FBI field agent in Minnesota, was “driven by a conscientious commitment to long-term national security and addressing the well-documented systemic biases within the FBI.”
MPR News linked the leaked documents to The Intercept’s “The FBI’s Secret Rules” series, which detailed the post-9/11 expansion of FBI oversight.
In a statement, The Intercept’s Editor-in-Chief Betsy Reed did not deny or confirm Albury’s alleged role in the series, stating that the organization does not “discuss anonymous sources.” Reed added that the use of the Espionage Act against alleged whistleblowers “is an outrage.”
Albury is the second intelligence official charged with leaking to The Intercept under the Trump Administration, which has an adversarial relationship with the press. In the previous instance, an intelligence contractor was charged last year with blowing the whistle on a report about Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.