The second prosecution of an accused leaker in the Trump Administration (after Reality Winner) will yield the first conviction. Former FBI special agent Terry J. Albury pleaded guilty this week to unlawful disclosure and retention of national defense information, each of which is a felony under the Espionage Act statutes.
The plea agreement, signed by the defendant, outlines the facts of the case and sets the stage for sentencing.
“Terry Albury betrayed the trust bestowed upon him by the United States,” said U.S. Attorney Tracy Doherty-McCormick in an April 17 news release. “Today’s guilty plea should serve as a reminder to those who are entrusted with classified information that the Justice Department will hold them accountable.”
But Albury’s attorneys said that his actions were those of a whistleblower. “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. He recognizes that what he did was unlawful and accepts full responsibility for his conduct,” they said in a statement quoted in Politico.
Under the terms of the plea agreement, “The defendant waives all rights to obtain, directly or through others, information about the investigation and prosecution of this case under the Freedom of Information Act and the Privacy Act of 1974.”