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Former intelligence analyst charged with leaking classified documents to reporter

May 10, 2019

Former intelligence analyst Daniel Everette Hale was arrested on May 9, 2019, and charged with leaking classified information about drone warfare and other counterterrorism measures to a reporter.

Hale has been charged with five crimes related to the disclosure of military-related information, and could face up to 50 years in prison if convicted.

The Justice Department indictment details alleged contact with a reporter dating back to April 2013, at which time Hale is accused of meeting with the reporter at a bookstore in Washington, D.C. The indictment lists 36 total documents Hale is alleged to have printed, 11 of which are classified.

While the reporter to whom Hale is accused of leaking is not named in the indictment, the description and timing of the reporting described in the document suggest it is Jeremy Scahill, who co-founded The Intercept and has reported extensively on U.S. military activities. The Intercept said it does not comment anonymous sources in its statement on the indictment.

James Risen, director of First Look Media’s Press Freedom Defense Fund and The Intercept’s senior national security correspondent, also released a statement:

“Like previous prosecutions of alleged journalistic sources, the prosecution of Daniel Everette Hale amounts to an abuse of the Espionage Act to criminalize the process of reporting. Everyone who cares about press freedom should reject the government’s outrageous crackdown on whistleblowers, which accelerated dramatically under President Barack Obama and has escalated further under Donald Trump, targeting the very people who are working the hardest to hold the government accountable for abuses and to protect our democracy.”

Hale is the seventh person to be investigated by the Trump Justice Department for allegedly sharing confidential information with the press. The Trump administration is on pace to surpass the Obama administration’s record of the most prosecutions of alleged journalistic sources. During President Obama’s eight years in office, the Department of Justice brought charges against eight people accused of leaking to the media.

— The U.S. Press Freedom Tracker catalogues press freedom violations in the United States. Email tips to [email protected]

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