- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 20, 2000

The FBI is investigating former Department of Energy counterintelligence chief Notra Trulock for possible disclosure of classified information, a Bureau spokesman said last night.

FBI agents Friday seized a desktop computer used by Mr. Trulock, who was the first government official to disclose Chinese espionage efforts against U.S. nuclear weapons laboratories two years ago.

"The FBI received information from other government agencies that classified information was subject to possible compromise," said FBI spokesman John Collingwood said when asked about the computer raid. "The FBI, working with the Department of Justice, has an obligation to at least preliminarily determine the facts and determine if further investigation is warranted."

Mr. Collingwood declined to say whether the FBI had obtained a warrant to search Mr. Trulock's Falls Church, Va., home.

But other people close to the probe said the two FBI agents took the computer from the residence without a search warrant and that it belonged to the landlord of the town house on the 6000 block of Midhill Place.

The computer was turned over to the FBI voluntarily, they said.

The action followed the publication of an article by Mr. Trulock critical of the Clinton administration in the current issue of National Review magazine.

Reached for comment by telephone, Mr. Trulock said the investigation is political retribution for blowing the whistle on Chinese spying and going against the administration's pro-China policies.

"This is what happens to whistleblowers who speak truth to power," he said. "The notion that there is classified information on [the computer] is outrageous."

The National Review article stated that the recent mishandling of computer hard drives at Los Alamos National Laboratory and other lapses "underscore the Clinton administration's continuing failure to safeguard America's nuclear secrets."

Energy Department security has been "a tale of cover-ups, complacency, bungling and outright dishonesty."

"I watched as senior DOE officials repeatedly lied under oath during congressional testimony," the article stated.

Mr. Trulock's piece also stated that the FBI bungled the investigation of Los Alamos scientist Wen Ho Lee by failing to pursue 11 other suspects and delayed placing Mr. Lee under surveillance.

Mr. Trulock was director of counterintelligence at the Energy Department from 1994 to 1998. He was pressured out by senior department officials who disagreed with his assessment that Chinese spies had obtained the secrets of every deployed U.S. nuclear weapon, including the W-88, the most compact and modern U.S. thermonuclear warhead.

Mr. Trulock testified to Congress that Deputy Energy Secretary Elizabeth Moler once blocked him from briefing Congress about Chinese espionage because she said Republicans would use the information to criticize President Clinton's pro-China policy.

He received a $5,000 bonus from Energy Secretary Bill Richardson, but had been stripped of his intelligence duties after clashing with political appointees over Energy's handling of the Chinese spying investigation.

Mr. Trulock quit the department in August to protest an inspector general's report that disputed his counterintelligence findings.

Mr. Trulock went to work for the defense contractor TRW Inc. but was recently dismissed under pressure from the Energy Department, according to people close to the case.

The FBI probe was initiated after the CIA obtained a copy of a monograph Mr. Trulock wrote on the Chinese spying case and notified the FBI that they believed the monograph contained classified information.

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