Former NSA officials pleads guilty in leak case

BALTIMORE (AP) - The Justice Department on Thursday reached a plea agreement in the leak case against a former National Security Agency official.

In court papers, the government said Thomas Drake will plead guilty to exceeding authorized use of a computer, a misdemeanor.

Drake had been charged with obstruction of justice, lying to the FBI and illegal possession of classified NSA documents under the seldom-used Espionage Act of 1917, even though he was not charged with spying.

If he had been convicted of those crimes, he could have faced up to 35 years in prison. The court documents in the plea deal contain no recommendation on sentencing for Drake, but misdemeanors carry a maximum penalty of one year in jail.

Drake is accused of providing documents to a reporter.

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