Officials Seek Long Sentence for ex-CIA Officer in Leak Case - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Officials Seek Long Sentence for ex-CIA Officer in Leak Case

Posted:
McLEAN, Va. (AP) - A former CIA officer convicted of leaking classified details of an operation to derail Iran's nuclear ambitions would spend 20 years in prison if a judge follows federal sentencing guidelines.

Jeffrey Sterling of O'Fallon, Missouri, will be sentenced next month in Alexandria following his conviction in January. A jury found him guilty of illegally disclosing to New York Times journalist James Risen a secret mission to stall Iran's nuclear weapons program by feeding them deliberately flawed blueprints.

Prosecutors on Monday filed papers urging a severe sentence, but declining to spell out a specific recommendation. They said probation officers correctly calculated a sentencing guidelines range of 20 to 24 years.

The government cited testimony during the trial from former national security adviser and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice that the plan was one of the best options the U.S. had in its admittedly limited ability to confront Iran's plans to build a nuclear weapon as part of their argument for a severe sentence.

Rice convinced the Times to spike a newspaper article that would have divulged the program, but Risen later included it in a book, State of War.

Prosecutors said Sterling leaked information about the program and falsely portrayed it to Risen as a botched operation because he felt he had been mistreated during his time in the CIA, and because it refused to settle his racial discrimination lawsuit.

"When he disclosed facts about Classified Program No. 1 - and distorted them to maximize the damage to the CIA, an entity he had grown to despise - he did so out of selfishness, not love of his country," prosecutors wrote in their sentencing memo.

But the judge is free to reject the guideline recommendation. Meanwhile, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu and others are supporting Sterling and argue he has been treated unfairly.

In a letter earlier this month, Tutu wrote that a harsh punishment for Sterling would stand in stark contrast to the likely sentence for former CIA director Davis Petraeus, who has agreed to plead guilty to leaking classified information to his mistress and biographer, Paula Broadwell. In that case, prosecutors are recommending probation.

"Your Honor, I appeal to you to provide the sentencing of Mr. Sterling with a sense of equity that can help to move the way of the world closer to real justice, nurturing belief in the law as a guardian of justice and not a violator of it," Tutu wrote to U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema.

Defense attorneys have not yet filed their sentencing recommendation. Sterling has denied he is the source of the leak and the defense has asked the judge to either set aside the verdict or order a new trial.

Sterling's sentencing had been scheduled for Friday but was pushed back to May 11 because of scheduling conflicts. 
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Man Killed in Dover Double Shooting

    Man Killed in Dover Double Shooting

    Wednesday, June 28 2017 9:16 AM EDT2017-06-28 13:16:17 GMT
    Wednesday, June 28 2017 9:51 AM EDT2017-06-28 13:51:06 GMT

    Dover police are investigating a shooting that killed a 21-year-old man and left a 25-year-old man with injuries on Tuesday night.

    More

    Dover police are investigating a shooting that killed a 21-year-old man and left a 25-year-old man injured on Tuesday night.

    More
  • Man Wounded in Seaford Shooting

    Man Wounded in Seaford Shooting

    Wednesday, June 28 2017 1:48 PM EDT2017-06-28 17:48:39 GMT
    Wednesday, June 28 2017 1:58 PM EDT2017-06-28 17:58:50 GMT

    Seaford police are investigating a shooting that left an 18-year-old man injured Wednesday morning.

    More

    Seaford police are investigating a shooting that left an 18-year-old man injured Wednesday morning.

    More
  • Five Hurt After Del. DOC Van, Two Other Vehicles Collide in Georgetown

    Five Hurt After Del. DOC Van, Two Other Vehicles Collide in Georgetown

    Wednesday, June 28 2017 3:56 PM EDT2017-06-28 19:56:08 GMT
    Wednesday, June 28 2017 11:38 PM EDT2017-06-29 03:38:33 GMT
    (Photo: MGN)(Photo: MGN)

    Authorities say a three-vehicle crash - including a Delaware Department of Correction van - sent five people to an area hospital on Wednesday morning. 

    More

    Authorities say a three-vehicle crash - including a Delaware Department of Correction van - sent five people to an area hospital on Wednesday morning. 

    More
  • Most Popular VideosMost Popular VideosMore>>

  • Spectators Share Stories About Pony Swim

    Spectators Share Stories About Pony Swim

    WBOC's Maxine Bentzel reports on the people who came out to see the 91st Annual Chincoteague Pony Swim.

    More

    WBOC's Maxine Bentzel reports on the people who came out to see the 91st Annual Chincoteague Pony Swim.

    More
  • Delaware State Troopers Arrest Four For Burglary and Attempted Robbery, Still Looking For One More

    Delaware State Troopers Arrest Four For Burglary and Attempted Robbery, Still Looking For One More

    Delaware State Police say they have arrested four people and are looking for a fifth for burglaries in Kent and Sussex Counties and an attempted robbery near Milford.

    Police say detectives began their investigation in early July when there were a series of burglaries where the thieves were taking chainsaws and money. 

    More

    Delaware State Police say they have arrested four people and are looking for a fifth for burglaries in Kent and Sussex Counties and an attempted robbery near Milford.

    Police say detectives began their investigation in early July when there were a series of burglaries where the thieves were taking chainsaws and money. 

    More
  • Sinking House Near Fenwick Island

    Sinking House Near Fenwick Island

    A house is making its way into the bay near Fenwick Island and boaters warn against the dangers of debris in the water.

    Robert Mitchell, The Director of Environmental Programs for Worcester County, said that nearly 500 acres of land was given to them in a deed.

    Little did they know there would be a small house located on one of the many islands they acquired. A house, that they soon found out, is sinking into the water.

    More

    A house is making its way into the bay near Fenwick Island and boaters warn against the dangers of debris in the water.

    Robert Mitchell, The Director of Environmental Programs for Worcester County, said that nearly 500 acres of land was given to them in a deed.

    Little did they know there would be a small house located on one of the many islands they acquired. A house, that they soon found out, is sinking into the water.

    More
Powered by Frankly

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2017 WBOC. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices