August 27, 2010

Department of Justice

Office of Public Affairs

Employee of Federal Contractor Charged with Disclosing National Defense Information to National News Reporter

A federal grand jury in the District of Columbia has returned an indictment charging Stephen Jin-Woo Kim with unlawfully disclosing national defense information to a reporter for a national news organization and making false statements to the FBI.

The indictment, which was unsealed today, was announced by David S. Kris, Assistant Attorney General for the National Security Division; Ronald C. Machen Jr., U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia; and Shawn Henry, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI Washington Field Office.

Kim, age 43, was an employee of a federal contractor who was on detail to the State Department at the time of the alleged disclosure. Kim made his initial appearance today in court in the District of Columbia. If convicted, he faces up to 10 years in prison for the unlawful disclosure of national defense information and up to five years in prison for the making of false statements.

According to the indictment, in June 2009, Kim knowingly and willfully disclosed information contained in an intelligence report classified Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information (TS/SCI) to a reporter for a national news organization who was not entitled to receive it. The classified information related to the national defense, specifically, intelligence sources and methods and intelligence concerning the military capabilities and preparedness of a particular foreign nation.

The indictment further alleges that, in September 2009, Kim made false statements to the FBI when he denied having had any contact with the reporter for a national news organization since meeting the reporter in March 2009, when in fact, Kim had had repeated contact with the reporter in the months following that meeting.

"The willful disclosure of classified information to those not entitled to it is a serious crime. Today's indictment should serve as a warning to anyone who is entrusted with sensitive national security information and would consider compromising it," said Assistant Attorney General Kris. "I applaud the many agents, analysts, and prosecutors who helped bring about today's charges."

"The U.S. Attorney's Office is committed to protecting our nation's secrets and bringing to justice those who betray the confidence placed in them by the American people. I want to thank the dedicated career prosecutors, investigators, and members of the intelligence community who worked tirelessly to uncover Mr. Kim's wrongdoing and bring it before the court," said U.S. Attorney Machen.

"National defense information disclosed illegally to any person or organization is a crime and serves only those who wish to harm the United States and its citizens," said FBI Assistant Director in Charge Henry.

This investigation was conducted by the FBI's Washington Field Office. The prosecution is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorneys G. Michael Harvey and Jonathan M. Malis of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia, and Trial Attorney Patrick T. Murphy of the Counterespionage Section of the Justice Department's National Security Division.

The public is reminded that an indictment contains mere allegations. Defendants are presumed innocent unless and until convicted in a court of law.

Source: Department of Justice (FBI)