Retired Air Force Officer Gets 3 Years In Prison Over Classified Docs

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A retired United States Air Force officer has been sentenced to three years in prison after pleading guilty to storing classified documents at his Florida home, the Department of Justice announced Thursday.

Robert L. Birchum, 55, will be serving three years in federal prison after pleading guilty of “unlawfully possessing and retaining classified documents” regarding the national security of the United States. During his 29-year military career, the former Lieutenant Colonel, handled classified intelligence while working within the Joint Special Operations Command, Special Operations Command and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, a press release from the U.S. District Attorney’s office for the Middle District of Florida read.

In 2017, law enforcement officials learned that Birchum had “knowingly removed more than 300 classified files and documents” from authorized locations, including more than 30 documents designated as Top Secret. In addition, Birchum was found to have two documents related to the National Security Agency’s capabilities and methods of collection for targets’ vulnerabilities on a thumb drive in his home. The unauthorized release of either of those two files, classified as Top Secret/SCI would have likely caused “grave damage to the national security of the United States,” the release stated. (RELATED: Video Reveals Biden Kept A Mountain Of Boxes In Garage Where Classified Docs Were Found)

“A goal of the FBI’s Counterintelligence program is to protect the secrets of the US Intelligence community. This sentencing illustrates the bureau’s commitment and perseverance in pursuing those individuals who knowingly jeopardize our nation’s security,” FBI Tampa Special Agent in Charge David Walker said of Birchum’s sentencing in the release.

In addition to the prison sentence, Birchum was fined $25,000, the release stated.