Dear Commons Community,
Kendra Kingsbury, a former FBI intelligence analyst charged with the same violation of the Espionage Act as former President Donald Trump, was sentenced this week to nearly four years in prison by a Missouri federal judge.
Kingsbury admitted in 2017 to having more than 380 classified documents in her home in digital and physical formats while she was employed by the FBI’s Kansas City division, court records show. She held the highest level of security clearance available during her more than 12 years at the agency.
Kingsbury was indicted in May 2021 on two counts of having willfully retained national defense information — a violation of Title 18 U.S.C., Section 793(e) — and pleaded guilty last October.
Trump is currently facing 31 counts of violating Title 18 U.S.C., Section 793(e); he faces a total of 37 charges.
Judge Stephen R. Bough sentenced Kingsbury to three years and 10 months behind bars.
“I cannot fathom why you would jeopardize our nation by leaving these types of documents in your bathtub,” Bough told her in court, according to the Kansas City Star.
Prosecutors had asked for four years and nine months, while Kingsbury’s attorney, Marc Ermine, asked only for probation, citing problems in his client’s personal life that allegedly contributed to her poor judgment.
Court records show that Kingsbury had been assigned to a series of “different FBI ‘squads,’ each of which had a particular focus, such as illegal drug trafficking, violent crime, violent gangs and counterintelligence.”
The records she was accused of keeping improperly related to “specific open investigations across multiple field offices,” “sensitive human source operations in national security investigations,” “intelligence gaps regarding hostile foreign intelligence services and terrorist organizations,” including information about al Qaeda, and “the technical capabilities of the FBI against counterintelligence and counter-terrorism targets.”
Prosecutors said that an investigation into “what uses the defendant put to the classified documents she illegally removed from the secure workspace,” revealed “more questions and concerns than answers.”
Trump has pleaded not guilty to the dozens of charges against him, claiming in an interview after his arraignment that he was allowed to have the documents. Photographs included in his indictment showed how the former president kept stacks of banker’s boxes in various rooms of his Florida golf resort, including an ornate bathroom.