Sales Comments in Washington Post on CIA Official's Fraud Case

Professor Nathan Sales told the Washington Post that defense attorneys' use of a tactic known as "graymail" may have contributed to a light sentencing recommendation in the case of a former CIA official who recently pleaded guilty to a charge he had steered agency contracts to a defense contractor and concealed their relationship.

In the case against Kyle "Dusty" Foggo, defense attorneys had threatened to expose sensitive intelligence information as part of the man's defense, a practice referred to as "graymail" in national security cases. "The government may have been afraid that Mr. Foggo's lawyers would actually succeed introducing some of this information into court," said Sales.

Ex-CIA Official Pleads Guilty to Fraud, Washington Post, September 30, 2008. By Jerry Markon.

"Foggo, a longtime logistics officer, was the CIA's executive director from November 2004 until May 2006, holding the agency's third-ranking position and one in which he oversaw the CIA's daily operations and budget. The position, which has since been eliminated, was sometimes referred to as 'Mayor of the CIA.' Foggo was accused of using his seniority and influence at a prior CIA job in Europe to help Wilkes. It is one of the first cases that has involved the CIA's clandestine operations in Europe and the Middle East.

"Although Foggo, a Vienna resident, pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, prosecutors agreed to dismiss 27 other counts against him and to recommend a sentence of no more than 37 months in prison. Judge James C. Cacheris, after accepting Foggo's plea, took the unusual step of telling Foggo that his attorneys 'have done a good job for you in this case.' Under federal law, Foggo could receive a prison term of as much as 20 years when he is sentenced Jan. 8."

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