Daniel Everette Hale, Former
Intelligence Analyst Charged with Disclosing Classified Information
May 9, 2019
An indictment was unsealed today charging a former intelligence analyst
with illegally obtaining classified national defense information and
disclosing it to a reporter. Daniel Everette Hale, 31, of Nashville,
Tennessee, was arrested this morning and will make his initial
appearance today at the federal courthouse in Nashville. Assistant
Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers, U.S. Attorney G.
Zachary Terwilliger for the Eastern District of Virginia and Acting
Special Agent in Charge Jennifer L. Moore of the FBI’s Baltimore Field
Office made the announcement after the charges were unsealed.
According to the indictment, Hale was enlisted in the U.S. Air Force
from July 2009 to July 2013, during which time he received language and
intelligence training. While serving on active duty, Hale was assigned
to work at the National Security Agency (NSA) and deployed to
Afghanistan as an intelligence analyst. After leaving the U.S. Air
Force, Hale was employed by a defense contractor and assigned to the
National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), where he worked as a
political geography analyst between December 2013 and August 2014. In
connection with his active duty service and work for the NSA, and during
his time at NGA, Hale held a Top Secret//Sensitive Compartmented
Information (TS//SCI) security clearance and was entrusted with access
to classified national defense information.
According to allegations in the indictment, beginning in April 2013,
while enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and assigned to the NSA, Hale began
communicating with a reporter. Hale met with the reporter in person on
multiple occasions, and, at times, communicated with the reporter via an
encrypted messaging platform. Then, in February 2014, while working as a
cleared defense contractor at NGA, Hale printed six classified documents
unrelated to his work at NGA and soon after exchanged a series of
messages with the reporter. Each of the six documents printed were later
published by the reporter’s news outlet.
According to allegations in the indictment, while employed as a cleared
defense contractor for NGA, Hale printed from his Top Secret computer 36
documents, including 23 documents unrelated to his work at NGA. Of the
23 documents unrelated to his work at NGA, Hale provided at least 17 to
the reporter and/or the reporter’s online news outlet, which published
the documents in whole or in part. Eleven of the published documents
were classified as Top Secret or Secret and marked as such.
According to allegations in the indictment, in August 2014, Hale’s cell
phone contact list included contact information for the reporter, and he
possessed two thumb drives. One thumb drive contained a page marked
“SECRET” from a classified document that Hale had printed in February
2014 and had attempted to delete from the thumb drive. The other thumb
drive contained Tor software and the Tails operating system, which were
recommended by the reporter’s online news outlet in an article published
on its website regarding how to anonymously “leak” documents.
is charged with obtaining national defense information, retention and
transmission of national defense information, causing the communication
of national defense information, disclosure of classified communications
intelligence information, and theft of government property. Each charge
carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. Actual sentences for
federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal
district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into
account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Gordon D. Kromberg and Alexander P. Berrang and
Senior Trial Attorney Heather M. Schmidt of the National Security
Division’s Counterintelligence and Export Control Section are
prosecuting the case.
An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a
crime. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless
proven guilty in court.