Washington, April 18 (IANS) A former FBI agent has pleaded guilty to sharing classified documents with media outlets in an effort to reveal how the bureau treated minority communities, the media reported.
As a field agent in the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Minneapolis office, the counterterrorism agent Terry J. Albury provided a reporter with two documents between February 2016 and January 2017, according to the charges against him.
“lbury was entrusted by the FBI with a security clearance, which included a responsibility to protect classified national defence information,” The New York Times quoted Bill Priestap, assistant director of the bureau’s Counterintelligence Division, as saying.
“Instead, he knowingly disclosed that material to someone not authorized to receive it.”
Albury, 39, faces up to 10 years in prison, but under his plea agreement he could receive less than five years.
In his plea, Albury acknowledged that the facts outlined by the government were accurate and that he had acted with the knowledge that he was breaking the law.
His lawyers said that Albury, who was the only African-American field agent in the Minneapolis office, viewed his disclosures as “an act of conscience” in the face of racism at the FBI, The New York Times reported.
“It has long been a critique of the FBI that it consists of and reflects a predominantly white male culture, which, as a result, has often treated minority communities with suspicion and disrespect,” the lawyers said in a joint statement.
It added that Albury had decided to act after he was assigned to the bureau’s counterterrorism team and “was required firsthand to implement FBI investigation directives that profiled and intimidated minority communities in Minnesota and other locations”.