Classified Information Exchanged on Dating Site

On Behalf of | Mar 8, 2024 | Criminal Defense, Federal Crimes, Felonies |

Retired Veteran Accused of Leaking Sensitive Information to Ukrainian Woman

A retired Army Lieutenant Colonel, David Franklin Slater, 63, was recently arrested and is accused of leaking highly sensitive information to a purportedly Ukrainian woman he had met online and conversed with via an unnamed dating site. Slater had a Top-Secret Security clearance while he was employed as a civilian Air Force employee assigned to United States Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM), the U.S. military combatant command responsible for nuclear deterrence and nuclear command and control headquartered at Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska. He is accused of communicating with an unnamed person claiming to be a woman living in Ukraine and sent the individual secret Pentagon documents about the current war between Russia and Ukraine and other highly sensitive information. “Dear, what is shown on the screens in the special room?? It is very interesting,” read one March 2022 message to Slater. Another message a month later read, “My sweet Dave, thanks for the valuable information, it’s great that two officials from the USA are going to Kyiv.”

Massachusetts Air National Guardsman Pleads Guilty to Disseminating Classified Materials Via Discord

Slater is not the only service member accused of leaking classified materials, as it was recently announced that Jack Teixeira pled guilty to six counts of violating the Espionage Act and prosecutors will seek a 200-month sentence in his case. The 22-year-old was part of the 102nd Intelligence Wing at Otis Air National Guard Base in Massachusetts and worked as a cyber transport systems specialist, which gave him unauthorized access to classified materials that he then leaked in an obscure chat room on social media platform Discord, apparently solely as a way to try and impress others online about his access to restricted information. The leaks, which were highly embarrassing to the government at the time, exposed glaring weaknesses in how the Pentagon protects sensitive information and raised questions about how a low-level employee who prosecutors say had a trove of weapons and history of violent rhetoric, along with several unofficial reprimands concerning his behavior around classified materials, could pass the vetting process and obtain security clearances. “This guilty plea brings accountability, and it brings a measure of closure to a chapter that created profound harms for our nation’s security,” said Matt Olsen, the assistant attorney general for national security at the Department of Justice. But questions will remain about how the government will protect more sensitive information from leaking in the future.


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