Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation was focused on the Trump campaign’s connections to Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Although many signs point to Trump’s involvement about what he knew and when, the report did not completely spell out his guilt and congressional Democrats continue to investigate in hopes that the president can eventually be impeached or answer to the consequences for his crimes.
Apparently, though, other government officials who collude with foreign nations are charged much more quickly and sentenced for their crimes. On Friday, it was reported that a former CIA officer was sentenced to 20 years in prison on charges that he spied for China and allegations he sought to expose human assets who were once his responsibility.
According to U.S. News & World Report:
‘The sentence issued by U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III in federal court in Alexandria for Kevin Mallory, 62, of Leesburg, Virginia, is less than the life sentence sought by prosecutors but more than the 10-year term requested by the defense.’
Last year, under the Espionage Act, a jury convicted Mallory for providing classified information to Chinese handlers in exchange for $25,000. U.S. News reported:
‘Mallory’s scheme began to unravel when he was selected for secondary screening at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport in April 2017 on a flight back from Shanghai with his son and customs agents found $16,500 in unreported cash.’
According to U.S. News:
‘Later, in voluntary interviews with authorities, Mallory was caught off guard when a Samsung phone given to him by the Chinese displayed text conversations between Mallory and the Chinese recruiter — Mallory had expected the phone’s secure messaging features would keep the conversation hidden.’
In one text message, Mallory wrote:
‘your object is to gain information, and my object is to be paid.’
Prosecutor John Gibbs said during Friday’s hearing:
‘At its heart, this was a very basic crime. He was desperate for money, and the most valuable thing he had was our nation’s secrets.’
Gibbs said that they feared if Mallory had not been caught, he likely would have received way more than $25,000. According to U.S. News:
‘Mallory’s sentence was delayed multiple times as the judge sought clarity on a key point — the value of the information provided by Mallory. In particular, prosecutors and defense attorneys differed sharply on whether Mallory ever intended to put human assets at risk.’
Prosecutors believe though that Mallory either sent or intended to send evidence that would have led to exposure of human assets described in court as “the Johnsons.”
According to defense lawyers, Mallory never intended to send it and pointed to computer forensic evidence supporting their claim. U.S. News reported:
‘Judge Ellis ultimately ruled that he couldn’t determine conclusively that Mallory intended to send the information though he suspected Mallory’s “long-term intentions” were sinister.’
‘If I had concluded that sources had been compromised … I would impose a far more severe sentence.’
Ellis said that Mallory’s contacts with the CIA suggest an effort to cover his espionage with the Chinese with a veneer of legitimacy by portraying himself as some sort of double agent.
‘If you choose to play footsie with another country … you have committed a crime,” Ellis said. “Don’t think that you can be a double agent.’
The Twitter world was quick to respond:
Featured image is a screenshot from YouTube