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Ex-FBI analyst sentenced for retaining classified documents with 'extremely sensitive national defense info'

A former FBI analyst from Kansas was sentenced in federal court Wednesday for illegally retaining hundreds of classified documents related to national defense at her home.

U.S. District Judge Stephen R. Bough sentenced Kendra Kingsbury, 50, of Garden City, Kansas, to three years and 10 months in federal prison without parole. Kingsbury pleaded guilty on Oct. 13, 2022, to two counts of unlawfully retaining documents related to national defense.

As an intelligence analyst for the FBI for more than 12 years, from 2004 to Dec. 15, 2017, Kingsbury was assigned to a sequence of different FBI squads, each of which had a particular focus, such as illegal drug trafficking, violent crime, violent gangs and counterintelligence. 

She held a TOP SECRET/SCI security clearance and had access to national defense and classified information. 

The FBI said Kingsbury admitted to repeatedly removing from the FBI and retaining in her personal residence at that time in North Kansas City, Missouri, an abundance of sensitive government materials, including classified documents related to the national defense, over the course of her employment. In total, the FBI said Kingsbury improperly possessed approximately 386 classified documents at her home.

“Some of the classified documents she unlawfully removed and kept in her home contained extremely sensitive national defense information,” the release said. “According to court documents, Kingsbury put national security at risk by retaining classified information in her home that would have, if in the wrong hands, revealed some of the government’s most important and secretive methods of collecting essential national security intelligence.”

Department of Justice

The Justice Department announced the sentencing of former FBI analyst Kendra Kingsbury. (iStock)

The documents retained by Kingsbury in her personal residence included documents in electronic format on hard drives, compact discs and other storage media.

As for the national defense information, Kingsbury is said to have unlawfully retained numerous documents classified at the SECRET level from another government agency that described intelligence sources and methods related to U.S. government efforts to collect intelligence on terrorist groups. 

The FBI said those documents included information about al Qaeda members on the African continent, including a suspected associate of Usama bin Laden. The bureau added that there were documents regarding the activities of emerging terrorists and their efforts to establish themselves in support of al Qaeda in Africa.

Kingsbury’s sentencing comes amid controversy swirling about classified documents found at the homes of former President Trump and President Biden. 

Claiming only a few materials were discovered, compared to what was uncovered in Trump’s case, Biden’s attorneys have said they cooperated with the Justice Department to ensure records were returned to the National Archives. 

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