An FBI agent was sentenced for leaking classified information.
Terry J. Albury, 39, a former Special Agent of the FBI, was sentenced Thursday to 48 months in the District of Minnesota in connection with his unauthorized disclosure and retention of classified national defense information.
The announcement was made by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, FBI Director Chris Wray, Assistant Director in Charge of the Washington Field Office Nancy McNamara, and U.S. Attorney G. Zachary Terwilliger for the Eastern District of Virginia, after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Wilhelmina M. Wright.
“We are conducting perhaps the most aggressive campaign against leaks in Department history,” said Attorney General Sessions. “Crimes like the one committed by the defendant in this case will not be tolerated—they will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and punished. I want to thank Assistant Attorney General Demers, U.S. Attorney Terwilliger, and their attorneys for their hard work in prosecuting this important case. Today’s sentence should be a warning to every would-be leaker in the federal government that if they disclose classified information, they will pay a high price.”
“Every FBI agent has a solemn obligation to protect classified information from unauthorized disclosure to safeguard our national security. Terry Albury betrayed that responsibility, and he betrayed the trust bestowed on him by the American people,” said FBI Director Christopher Wray. “His sentencing today demonstrates those who violate the law by disclosing classified information will be held responsible for their reckless and illegal actions.”
“Leaking classified national defense information to the media is a crime that damages our national security,” said U.S. Attorney Terwilliger. “Albury transmitted classified information not just to one hostile foreign power, but to every hostile foreign power with the ability to pick up a newspaper or access the Internet. To be clear, this was not whistleblower activity. Albury made no attempts to engage in any of the legitimate whistleblower processes available to him, and instead chose to betray his oath and his colleagues by leaking classified national defense information to the press. This case should send a message to anyone considering violating the public’s trust and compromising our national security by disclosing classified information. We will remain steadfast and dogged in pursuit of these challenging but critical national security cases.”
“Terry Albury willingly disclosed classified information that he had taken an oath to protect, for his own purposes,” said Assistant Director in Charge Nancy McNamara. “He violated the trust that was placed in him by willfully providing information that could endanger national security to individuals not authorized to receive it and lied to the FBI about his actions. Albury violated the trust that was placed in him and his attempt to leverage national security information for his own reasons brought him to this sentence today. The FBI will continue to take all necessary and appropriate steps to thoroughly investigate individuals, no matter their position, who undermine the integrity of our justice system by lying to federal investigators.”
According to court documents, Albury worked as an FBI Special Agent in the Minneapolis field office at the time of the disclosures, held a Top Secret//Sensitive Compartmented Information security clearance, and his daily duties provided him access to sensitive and classified FBI and other U.S. government information.
According to court documents, beginning in 2016 and continuing through August 2017, Albury knowingly and willfully disclosed national defense information, classified at the Secret level, to a reporter. Albury employed methods to avoid detection, including printing documents that he created by cutting and pasting portions of an original document into a new document so as to avoid leaving a record of having printed the original, classified document. Albury also accessed documents on a classified computer and took pictures of the computer screen in order to photograph certain classified documents. Those additional classified documents were recovered on an electronic storage device found during a search of his home.