The Tracking of Donald Keyser

Donald Keyser, who had been a respected State Department expert on China, pled guilty last year to illegally removing classified documents from the State Department, making false statements to the FBI, and concealing his relationship with a Taiwanese intelligence officer.

Now the government says that he is failing to fulfill the terms of his plea agreement, and it told a court that the agreement should therefore be revoked, the New York Sun reported today.

In support of its position, the Justice Department filed a detailed and occasionally sordid account (pdf) of Keyser’s alleged entanglement with Taiwanese intelligence.

“The unusual filing opens a window onto the FBI’s counterintelligence tradecraft,” wrote reporter Josh Gerstein in the Sun. He also noted that Keyser’s attorney denies the allegations and says the new Justice Department memo is unfair and inaccurate.

See “A Novel-Like Tale Of Cloak, Dagger Unfolds in Court” by Josh Gerstein, New York Sun, July 14.

The government memorandum places the worst possible construction on Keyser’s activities, including many that seem easily susceptible to benign explanations. In any case it remains true that he conducted an improper relationship with a foreign intelligence officer and violated classification procedures.

A copy of the July 5 government memorandum in support of its motion to find Keyser in breach of his plea agreement is posted here.

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