Retired four-star Gen. James Cartwright, former vice chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, pled guilty to confirming details of leaked top-secret information to journalists and then lying to the FBI when questioned about it. He has pled guilty to one felony charge for confirming classified information regarding Iran’s nuclear program. Cartwright was appointed to the US Joint Chiefs of Staff in 2007 and signed over 36 non-disclosure agreements. Despite these agreements Cartwright made the mistake of confirming classified info to two separate journalists.
The first journalist being David Sanger, a national security correspondent for The New York Times. That information was later published in Sanger’s book “Confront and Conceal: Obama’s Secret Wars and Surprising Use of American Power.” Cartwright also disclosed classified information to Newsweek correspondent Daniel Klaidman who also published the information.
Cartwright could face up to 5 years in prison but is expected to serve up to only 6 months due to a plea agreement. Cartwright has been under investigation for leaking this info since 2012 when Sanger’s book was released. Carwright issued a written statement in court which read:
“It was wrong for me to mislead the FBI on Nov. 2, 2012, and I accept full responsibility for this…”
On Nov. 2, 2012 Cartwright told FBI investigators he never even discussed the leaked information with either journalist. Cartwright still claims that he never originally leaked the information but did speak with the reporters after the information had been published and confirmed information released in the original leak.
U.S. District Judge Richard Leon set Cartwright’s sentencing hearing for Jan. 17.