Federal Judge Rejects Motions to Dismiss North Korea Leak Case Against Stephen Kim

Politico on August 26, 2011 released the following by Josh Gerstein:

“A judge in Washington has rejected defense motions to dismiss charges against a former State Department analyst charged with leaking top-secret intelligence about North Korea to Fox News.

Stephen Kim, who worked for the Energy Department but was detailed to Foggy Bottom, was charged last August with violating the Espionage Act by disclosing to James Rosen of Fox News that the U.S. believed North Korea was about to conduct a nuclear test. Kim was also charged with lying to FBI agents by denying contact with Rosen.

Kim’s lawyers, led by D.C. defense attorney Abbe Lowell, asked U.S. District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly to dismiss the charges on a variety of grounds. One of the more interesting arguments was that the crime Kim allegedly committed amounted to treason and, according to the Constitution, could only be charged by testimony of two witnesses. Lowell also argued that transmission of classified information, as opposed to tangible documents, does not violate the Espionage Act–an argument he also offered in the defense of two pro-Israel lobbyists facing similar charges a few years ago.

However, in a 24-page opinion issued Wednesday, Kollar-Kotelly rejected all the defense motions. The judge called “compelling and eloquent” the defense arguments about the treason clause of the Constitution, but said precedent from various courts, including the Supreme Court, had established that Congress could establish similar crimes to treason without following the specific rules the Constitution sets out for treason.

Kim’s case is the fifth Espionage Act prosecution brought during the Obama administration in connection with alleged leaks of classified information to the media.”

Attached is Stephen Kim – Memorandum Opinion and Order.

To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN List Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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