Apparently, dating a journalist while being a counter-terrorism analyst with access to top secret information is a and idea. At least it is if you share said intel with said girlfriend who shares what you told her with the world.
Multiple sources have stated that a Defense Intelligence Agency analyst was arrested yesterday for allegedly leaking information to reporters. He was charged with two counts of willful transmission of national defense information.
The analyst, Henry Kyle Frese, 30, possessed a top-secret clearance at the DIA, and passed that info on in 2017 and 2018.
According to the Department of Justice, Frese appeared to be involved in a “romantic relationship for some or all of the period of time” in which he allegedly transmitted the information.
One of the reporters wrote at least eight articles using information from at least five intelligence reports, which were leaked by the DIA worker, according to the indictment. He reportedly even re-tweeted a link to one of the articles that the reporter wrote using the information he had given to her.
In April 2018, after Frese accessed one of the intelligence reports, the reporter sent him a private message on Twitter asking if he would be willing to speak with another journalist, who worked at another outlet owned by the same company. Frese replied that he would help if it could help advance the first reporter’s career because he wanted to see her “progress.”
The government also intercepted a call in September during which Frese allegedly read classified national defense information to the second journalist, according to court documents.
The criminal complaint filed on October 9 in Eastern District of Virginia federal court stated Frese, 30, had been “caught red-handed disclosing sensitive national security information for personal gain.”
The complaint adds that the disclosure of the information:
“Could reasonably be expected to cause exceptionally grave harm to the national security of the United States.”
Frese was working for the Defense Intelligence Agency. He was hired in January 2017 as a contractor and then became a full-time employee with the highest possible security clearance.
Frese is the sixth individual to be charged with leaking to reporters or the public in the last two years.
Shortly after the announcement of Frese’s arrest, CNBC announced that Macias had been suspended. Macias and Kube have not commented.
Neither reporter was named in the complaint, but one was said to have been in a relationship with Frese and shared a home with him between August 2017 and August 2018. Public records reveal that Frese and Amanda Macias lived together in Arlington, Virgina. It’s alleged that Frese’s motivation was to further his own career.
The reporter, who was Frese’s girlfriend, Macias, had passed the information along to another reporter at an affiliated news organization. Macias appears to have a close relationship with Courtney Kube, who works for MSNBC.
According to a review of articles published by Macias and Kube mentioned in those court documents, the leaked information pertained to China and North Korea. In May 2018, Macias wrote a report for CNBC about China quietly installing missile systems on the strategic Spratly Islands in the contested South China Sea. The information was sourced to a Pentagon official.
Did you know that Law Enforcement Today has a private new home for those who support emergency responders and veterans? It’s called LET Unity, and it’s where we share the untold stories of those patriotic Americans. Every penny gets reinvested into giving these heroes a voice. Check it out today.
In June 2018, Kube, along with two other NBC reporters, wrote a highly publicized report about North Korea increasing nuclear production at secret sites. The report contradicted President Trump’s tweet that same month that “there was no longer a nuclear threat from North Korea” following his June 12 summit with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.
The investigation into Frese included a wiretap of his phone, which captured a call on September 24, 2019, he had with Kube in which prosecutors say he gave her classified information.
During the investigation, federal agents intercepted Twitter messages and phone calls between Frese and the reporters.
In a press release, the head of the Justice Department’s National Security Division John Demers said that Frese’s arrest was part of the department’s cracking down on leaking in government agencies. Demers said, “Leaks of classified information cause undeniable damage to our national security.
“Henry Kyle Frese was entrusted with TOP SECRET information related to the national defense of our country,” U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia Zachary Terwilliger said.
The comments were made in a statement to the media.
“Frese allegedly violated that trust, the oath he swore to uphold, and is charged with engaging in dastardly and felonious conduct at the expense of our country. This indictment should serve as a clear reminder to all of those similarly entrusted with National Defense Information that unilaterally disclosing such information for personal gain, or that of others, is not selfless or heroic, it is criminal.”
According to documents in the case, Frese said that he was “down” to help Journalist 2 if it helped Journalist 1 because he “wanted to see Journalist 1 progress.”
The charging documents say that Frese provided the information to the reporters between mid-April 2018 and early-May 2018. The documents say that between August 2017 and August 2018, “it appears that Frese and Macias were involved in a romantic relationship for some or all of that period of time.”
In total, the feds believe that Macias is responsible for writing eight articles based on the information given to her from Frese. Officials have not said if the two journalists in question will be prosecuted for their role in the scandal.
Macias and Kube worked together on a NBC News report on China conducting anti-ship missile tests in the South China Sea that was published in July 2019. The co-bylined report cited two U.S. officials.
Frese regularly complimented Macias’ work on his Twitter page. According to searches of Frese’s Twitter page, the messages between him and Macias go back as far as September 2014 and end in 2018.
In June 2018, Kube was one of three reporters credited on an NBC News report titled, “North Korea has increased nuclear production at secret sites, say U.S. officials.”
An official is quoted in that story as saying, “Work is ongoing to deceive us on the number of facilities, the number of weapons, the number of missiles.”
On the day of Frese’s arrest, Macias called Courtney Kube the “hardest working mom in the Pentagon press corps.”
Assistant Attorney General for National Security John Demers added in a statement:
“As laid out in today’s indictment, Frese was caught red-handed disclosing sensitive national security information for personal gain. Frese betrayed the trust placed in him by the American people—a betrayal that risked harming the national security of this country.
This is one of six unauthorized disclosure cases the Department has charged in just over two years, and we will continue in our efforts to punish and deter this behavior.”
Alan E. Kohler Jr. is the FBI Special Agent in Charge of the Counterintelligence Division. He said in a statement:
“Mr. Frese allegedly disclosed highly classified national defense information, which puts our country and people at risk.
He violated his oath to serve and protect the United States.
The men and women of the FBI work hard every day to protect the American people and uphold the Constitution – we will not stand by while trusted government employees violate that trust in such an egregious way.”
Want to make sure you never miss a story from Law Enforcement Today? With so much “stuff” happening in the world on social media, it’s easy for things to get lost.