Jeffrey Sterling, a former CIA officer who was involved in a highly secretive operation to give faulty nuclear plans to Iran, was convicted Monday of providing classified information about his work to a New York Times reporter — a significant win for federal prosecutors and a presidential administration that has worked zealously to root out leakers, reports the Washington Post. The 47-year-old Missouri man is scheduled to be sentenced April 24 and remains free until then. Attorney General Eric Holder said the verdict was a “just and appropriate outcome.”
Sterling was accused of a breach that ultimately closed off one of the few avenues the United States had to stem the development of Iran's nuclear program. But the prosecution also was notable because it spawned a First Amendment confrontation between the Justice Department and James Risen, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for the New York Times.