Prosecutors in the Eastern District of Virginia are fighting the release on bond of a former CIA officer accused of selling classified documents to the Chinese government.
Kevin Mallory, 60, was released Thursday by a magistrate judge on a $10,000 bond. The government is appealing that decision, arguing that GPS monitoring and other restrictions are not enough to keep a desperate, experienced spy in the country.
“Someone with the defendant’s training and experience is unlikely to be confined by a detention order requiring him to stay in a house that he is having trouble paying for, when he has a life sentence in prison hanging over his head,” Assistant U.S. Attorney John Gibbs wrote in his motion.
A search of Mallory’s house revealed wigs, fake mustaches, and theatrical makeup, Gibbs noted, that could help him conceal his identity.
Mallory sold four documents to Chinese intelligence operatives earlier this year, according to prosecutors, and had plans to sell four more. One was classified as top secret and two as secret. All eight were found on an S.D. card in his bedroom closet, wrapped in foil, according to court documents.
He also told a Chinese agent of his plans to “type my notes,” according to prosecutors, suggesting he had more intelligence to offer.
“His Chinese contacts would have a great incentive to help him flee the country, both to conceal their activities in recruiting him to become a spy for the PRC, and to learn any additional classified information that he may possess,” Gibbs wrote.
Judge Ivan Davis granted a hold on Mallory’s release while the appeal goes forward, although on Thursday he expressed skepticism about the defendant’s ability or desire to flee.
“Do you think he’s more interested in China than he is in his family here in the United States?” Davis asked Thursday.
Yes, Gibbs replied.
Moreover, he argued that if Mallory fled to China, his family could join him there.
But defense attorney Geremy Kamens argued in court Thursday that his client has no intention of fleeing. “He has ample reason to clear his good name,” he said.
(c) 2017, The Washington Post · Rachel Weiner