Terry Albury, 39, of Minneapolis, admitted leaking national defense material because he was unhappy about the FBI’s treatment of minorities. He is the second to be sentenced in a Trump administration crackdown on leaks.
Confronted with what he saw as the FBI’s mistreatment of minorities, former Minneapolis special agent Terry Albury felt the need to act. What he did led to a four-year prison sentence, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports. Albury, 39, who joined the bureau in 2000 and was most recently assigned as an airport liaison, was sentenced Thursday. He had pleaded guilty to making an unauthorized disclosure of national defense information and unlawful retention of national defense information. Prosecutors say Albury shared documents — some considered classified — on evaluating potential informants, along with a document “relating to threats posed by certain individuals from a particular Middle Eastern country.”
He is the second person sentenced as part of the Trump administration’s crackdown on government employee leaks to the media. The other, Reality Winner, a former National Security Agency contractor, got a five-year prison term for disclosing a top-secret report on how Russian operatives gained access to U.S. election databases. In delivering Albury’s sentence, U.S. District Judge Wilhelmina Wright said that while his motivations may have been pure, he didn’t have the right to break the law. “You put the United States at risk,” she said. “In your mind, a noble cause and a just action; in the minds of those who understand national security, a fool’s errand.” Albury admitted last spring to leaking the documents to an unnamed reporter. While never identified in court filings, it’s widely believed that the information ended up in the hands of The Intercept, which used them in its “FBI’s Secret Rules” series on how the bureau assesses potential informants. The case has worried press freedom advocates, who see it as fulfillment of Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ pledge to crack down on government leakers.