A U.S. District Court judge rejected a CIA Officer’s legal challenge to two laws that are being used to charge him with leaking the identities of CIA officers who investigated terror suspects to journalists.
Lawyers for John Kiriakou, the CIA Officer, argued that the laws — the Espionage Act and the Intelligence Identities Protection Act — were too vague and over broad.
According to Politico, in order to prove the Espionage Act violation, “prosecutors will be required to show that revealing the information could have harmed the United States or helped a foreign country.” Politico notes that “no such showing is required with respect to prove the IIPA violation, but the government does have to show that the individual whose identity was disclosed worked outside the U.S. in the last five years.”
“The identity of a covert officer is information that goes to the heart of the nation’s intelligence activities, and its disclosure could very well threaten the personal safety of the agent whose identity is revealed as well as undermine confidence in the Government’s ability to protect its covert officers. This very real danger places exposure of a covert agent’s identity in a unique class of cases,” U.S. District Cout Judge Leonie Brinkema wrote in the opinion.
Kiriakou, according to Politico, has entered a not guilty plea, and will be tried in November “on one count of violating the IIPA, three counts of violating the Espionage Act, and one count of making a false statement to a federal officer.”