Oct. 9 (UPI) -- Authorities arrested a Defense Intelligence Agency official Wednesday for leaking classified information linked to the security of a foreign country to two journalists, the Justice Department revealed.
Henry Kyle Frese, 30, faces two counts of willful transmission of national defense information for allegedly releasing the information in 2018 and 2019 to two unidentified reporters.
The Department of Justice said Frese accessed classified intelligence reports -- some unrelated to his job duties -- and gave the information to a journalist with whom he apparently lived. Officials speculated he had a romantic relationship with the journalist.
The journalist then asked Frese if he could speak to a second, more senior journalist, to which he agreed if it helped with the first journalist's career. The Justice Department said the second journalist spoke with Frese and later published an article containing information from a top secret report.
"As laid out in today's indictment, Frese was caught red-handed disclosing sensitive national security information for personal gain," said Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers. "Frese betrayed the trust placed in him by the American people -- a betrayal that risked harming the national security of this country."
Frese faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted on both counts.