Judge Limits Discovery for Accused Leaker

     (CN) – A man accused of leaking government secrets about North Korea’s nuclear plans cannot seek information on other potential leaks about the issue, a federal judge ruled.
     Stephen Jin-Woo Kim is a senior analyst at the Office of National Security at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
     In 2010, he was indicted on two counts of disclosing national defense secrets to Fox News reporter James Rosen and one count of lying to the FBI, as part of the Obama administration’s crackdown on government leaks.
     Kim allegedly told Rosen in 2009 that North Korea was planning to test a nuclear bomb, forming the basis for Rosen’s article “North Korea Intends to Match U.N. Resolution with New Nuclear Test.”
     The government claims Kim’s alleged leak is related to national defense, but Kim claims the information was common knowledge in Washington, and the Justice Department of Justice is stretching the espionage laws beyond their proper sphere.
     Last week, U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly issued four heavily redacted rulings on Kim’s discovery motions, which seek information that other individuals may have leaked classified information to Fox News.
     The judge primarily found Kim’s requests overly broad, although she said there is evidence to support his claims that the discovery may be relevant to his case.
     “As currently framed, the defendant’s requests are too broad to satisfy the relevant standards of discoverability,” Kollar-Kottelly wrote.
     “The defendant produced persuasive circumstantial evidence that three NSC [National Security Council] officials may have learned of the intelligence purportedly disclosed to Mr. Rosen, and there is evidence to suggest at least one of those officials had contact with Mr. Rosen on the day in question prior to the publication of the Rosen article. … But as currently framed, the defendant’s request for information regarding other investigations concerning the three NSC officials is too broad to satisfy the materiality requirement of Rule 16.”
     Kollar-Kotelly also denied Kim’s request for “any intelligence reports created between April 1, 2009 and June 11, 2009,” the period of his alleged leaks regarding five general topics, the specifics of which are redacted.
     “The defendant filed to articulate how the Rosen article could have been based on the intelligence reports the defendant seeks to compel,” Kollar-Kotelly wrote.
     Kim can, however, seek copies of emails that discuss the protected topics and were sent to national security directors for Japan and Korea during this time.

%d bloggers like this: