(WASHINGTON) — A former CIA officer was convicted of illegally disclosing national defense information on Monday.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, former CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling broke the law by providing information on an unidentified country’s weapons capabilities to a reporter. FBI Director James Comey said that Sterling “violated his sworn duty to protect our nation’s secrets and he betrayed our country.”
Attorney General Eric Holder called the conviction “a just and appropriate outcome,” adding that Sterling’s actions “compromised operations undertaken in defense of America’s national security” and “placed lives at risk.”
According to evidence presented at trial, Sterling was employed by the CIA from May 1993 through January 2002. For a portion of that time, he was assigned to a classified clandestine operational program that was intended to undermine the Iranian nuclear weapons program.
The DOJ says that Sterling “pursued administrative and civil actions against the CIA” in 2000. When the CIA refused to settle those actions on terms he deemed favorable, Sterling “disclosed information concerning the classified operational program and [a] human asset” to a New York Times reporter.
Sterling is set to face sentencing in April.
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