Lawyer says former CIA officer 'is not a Chinese spy'

The attorney for f...

Posted: Feb. 7, 2018 10:02 AM
Updated: Feb. 7, 2018 10:02 AM

The attorney for former CIA officer Jerry Lee defended his client from claims that he shared US secrets with the Chinese government after a hearing in Virginia federal court Tuesday.

"Mr. Lee is not a Chinese spy, he's a loyal American who served his country in the military and in the CIA," Edward MacMahon, Lee's attorney, told reporters.

At an initial appearance in the US district courthouse in Alexandria, Magistrate Judge Ian Davis ordered Lee detained before his preliminary hearing, which was set for March 19 at 2 p.m.

Lee, a 13-year veteran of the spy agency, is charged with unlawful retention of national defense information and faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted. Lee has not been charged with espionage. Appearing Tuesday unshackled in a tan T-shirt tucked into khaki pants, Lee acknowledged the charge and the potential time he faces.

An attorney for the government, Neil Hammerstrom, argued Lee should remain in detention because he is a permanent resident of Hong Kong and a flight risk. Lee was traveling to the United States on business when he was arrested last month at JFK airport and has no US address, Hammerstrom said.

Hammerstrom added that he would argue at a future detention hearing that Lee is also a danger to the community.

MacMahon in court pushed back on the characterizations.

"He's not a flight risk or a danger to anybody," he said.

MacMahon declined a proposed date for earlier bond and preliminary hearings, and Lee waived his rights to timely ones, because, MacMahon said, he needed more time to prepare a bond package and to access the classified information that would be part of the case.

Article Comments

Tupelo
Overcast
84° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 72°
Feels Like: 90°
Columbus
Scattered Clouds
81° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 86°
Oxford
Broken Clouds
82° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 87°
Starkville
Clear
81° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 85°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather

Latest Video

Image

Alan's 6AM Saturday Forecast: Isolated thunderstorms already an issue near our area.

Image

Friday Night Fever-Week 1

Image

Four face child neglect charges in New Albany

Image

Some Rain and Storms for the Weekend

Image

West Point police search for gun thieves caught on camera

Image

Firefighters respond to Pontotoc County fire

Image

Pet of the Week - Janice

Image

Tyler Hanks benefit to help man

Image

Joel's 12 p.m. forecast

Image

Former judge Henry Lackey passes away