A former Central Intelligence Agency officer will be officially accused for disclosing top-secret U.S. government documents to China.
On Thursday, the FBI arrested a former CIA officer, Kevin Mallory,age 60, from his residence in Leesburg, Virginia. At federal court in Alexandria he will be formally accused for espionage and lying to federal officers.
Even though the sensitivity of the revealed information is still unclear, if the charges can be proved by the government, the case can become one of the most imprudent acts of espionage for China executed by a officer of the CIA and other government agencies.
According to the court filings, when Mallory traveled to China in previous mounts, he accepted some sort of secure communication device from a Chinese national. He later said to the FBI that he was “trained to use it specifically for private communications” with the Chinese citizen.
According to some allegations, Mallory in an interview last month admitted to the FBI that he gave unclassified “white papers” to the Chinese person for a substitute of $25,000, but he denied revealing any classified information.
A testimony from FBI agent Stephen Green states that as Mallory showed the device to the FBI, he “expressed surprise” when the secure message history emerged. One message said: “I can also come in the middle of June I can bring the remainder of the documents I have at that time.”
Green stated that the FBI later found compromising messages on the device. One allegedly cited: “Your object is to gain information, and my object is to be paid for.” Another exchange quoted by Stephen said: “The black was to cross out the security classification (TOP SECRET//ORCON??…I had to get it out without the chance of discovery … You can send the funds broken into 4 equal payments over 4 consecutive days….If they we [sic] looking for me in terms of State Secrets, and found the SD card…, we would not be talking today. I am taking the real risk as you…and higher up bosses know.”
The FBI stated that on the device there were three classified U.S. government documents: one top secret and the other classified as secret.
The court papers didn’t say anything about the CIA but said that Mallory worked as a diplomatic security agent for the State Department from 1987 to 1990 and then for “various government agencies, for U.S. cleared defense contractors, and on U.S. Army active duty deployments.” and the FBI said that he fluently speaks Mandarin Chinese.
U.S. official confirmed Mallory’s connection to the CIA to POLITICO.
The resume data on the internet shows that Mallory worked as an economic officer at the American Institute in Taiwan, which represents U.S. government interests there. Economic officer posts abroad are often populated by the CIA.
The resume data on the internet also shows that Mallory said he worked for the FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration. Those affiliations could not be confirmed at the moment.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Theresa Buchanan ordered Mallory to be held in custody pending a detention hearing Friday afternoon.
FBI and Justice Department officials stated that the charges should be seen as a reminder of the consequences for what they called “unauthorized disclosures,” a category of offenses that includes both espionage and leaking to the media.
“Kevin Mallory was previously entrusted with Top Secret clearance and therefore had access to classified information, which he allegedly shared and planned to continue sharing with representatives of a foreign government,” stated Andrew Vale, the head of the FBI’s Washington field office. “Furthermore, he allegedly misled investigators in a voluntary interview about sharing of this classified information. The FBI will continue to investigate those individuals who put our national security at risk through unauthorized disclosures of information.”
Dana Boente, who is the U.S. attorney in Alexandria and the acting head of Justice’s National Security Division, stated, “The conduct alleged in this complaint is serious, and these charges should send a message to anyone who would consider violating the public’s trust and compromising our national security by disclosing classified information.”
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