A former adviser for the State Department will plead guilty on Friday for sharing confidential information with a Fox News reporter. According to U.S. Attorney Ronald Machen, Stephen Jin-Woo Kim also admitted that he "wasn’t a whistleblower," and that "his actions put America at risk." Under the agreement, he'll go to jail for 13 months. Judge Judge Kollar-Kotelly is expected to accept the plea deal on Friday.
Kim admitted to sharing information from a classified report on North Korea with James Rosen at Fox News. The federal government also considered filing charges against Rosen himself, as the FBI reportedly considered him to be a co-conspirator, rather than a journalist communicating with a source, in the leak. To find out Rosen's source, investigators requested a wide range of phone records.
The piece in question is a 2009 report on North Korea's plans to conduct a nuclear test, information that Rosen wrote was obtained from a CIA source inside North Korea. It was based on information distributed to just a small circle of people within the State Department around the time that the report went up. The criminal investigation into Rosen's journalism eventually prompted the Justice Department to reform its guidelines for investigating disclosures.
In a statement, Kim's lawyer Abbe D. Lowell said that "Stephen’s case demonstrates that our system for prosecuting 'leaks' in this country is
broken and terribly unfair." He added: "Lower-level employees like Mr. Kim are prosecuted because they are easier targets or often lack the resources or political connections to fight back."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.