She's Going to Jail for Taking Classified Docs

Ex-FBI analyst gets nearly 4 years behind bars, in case seen as similar to former president's
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 22, 2023 7:45 AM CDT
She's Going to Jail for Taking Classified Docs. Will Trump?
The seal on the J. Edgar Hoover FBI Building is seen June 9 in Washington.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

The verdict is in, and it's prison time for bringing those classified documents home. No, not for former President Trump—his case is still pending—but the New York Times notes the similarities between his situation and that of Kendra Kingsbury, a former FBI intelligence analyst who was just sentenced to nearly four years behind bars. The 50-year-old heard her fate Wednesday after being accused of retaining nearly 400 classified documents at her home in Dodge City, Kansas, which she's said to have illegally taken over her dozen or so years with the agency's Kansas City office. Per a DOJ release, Kingsbury pleaded guilty in October to two counts of unlawfully retaining documents related to the national defense.

She also admitted to investigators she destroyed classified information, some related to national security, and was reportedly "unhelpful," per the Times. "The defendant put national security at risk by retaining classified information in her home that would have, if in the wrong hands, revealed some of the government's most important and secretive methods of collecting essential national security intelligence," prosecutors wrote in their June 12 sentencing memo. Like Trump, Kingsbury was accused of violating the Espionage Act (more on how and why that comes into play here). In Trump's case, he's facing 31 counts of willfully retaining national defense secrets—each of which could bring a maximum sentence of 10 years.

He's also been hit with other charges, including conspiracy to obstruct justice, lying to investigators, and corruptly scheming to hide information from the government; he has pleaded not guilty to all. Unlike Trump, however, Kingsbury isn't a former president of the United States, which could impact whether he sees prison time if convicted. Even though experts tell the AP that cases dealing with the mishandling of classified information are taken very seriously, the outlet notes "it's also hard to know the extent to which other factors—including the logistical and political complications of jailing a former president—might play a role." More on the specifics of Kingsbury's case here. (More classified information stories.)

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