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Former White House staffer investigated

Sources say probe involves possible stolen information

Leandro Aragoncillo worked at the White House from 1999 to 2001.


Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
White House

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A former Marine who worked at the White House is under investigation for allegedly misusing his top-secret clearance to steal classified information from computers, multiple U.S. government sources told CNN late Wednesday.

Leandro Aragoncillo, 46, worked in the vice president's office from 1999 to 2001, during both the Clinton-Gore and Bush-Cheney administrations.

Aragoncillo, who worked as an FBI intelligence analyst after working at the White House, was arrested along with a Filipino citizen in September in a separate case on charges that he used an FBI database to download and pass along classified information.

The latest investigation, first reported by ABC News and confirmed to CNN by multiple U.S. government sources, involves Aragoncillo's time in the White House.

Among the documents that Aragoncillo allegedly downloaded was a dossier on Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, which he passed on to her political opposition in the Philippines, according to CNN's multiple government sources.

Aragoncillo has not been indicted on any charges relating to the alleged theft of classified information. Attempts by CNN to reach his lawyer for comment were not immediately successful.

Officials told CNN that Aragoncillo has been cooperating with investigators trying to determine the scope of his alleged illegal activity.

Chester Keller, a federal public defender representing Aragoncillo, would not comment Thursday.

The White House said it was cooperating with the investigation, but would not comment further. The Justice Department also had no comment.

In the earlier case, Aragoncillo was arrested along with Michael Aquino, 39, a Filipino citizen in the United States on an expired visa.

The two men were charged with one count of conspiracy and one count of acting as an unregistered agent subject to the direction of a foreign official. Aragoncillo was also charged with one count of unauthorized use of a government computer to obtain and transmit classified information to people not entitled to receive it.

According to a criminal complaint, Aragoncillo allegedly used an FBI database at the Fort Monmouth Information Technology Center in New Jersey to search, download and print classified documents concerning the Philippines. He then allegedly sent e-mails, with the classified documents attached, to at least three people in the Philippines, including current and former government officials, according to the complaint.

Aragoncillo was accused of passing classified information on to Aquino, who once served as a deputy director of the Philippines National Police and who allegedly passed the information to Philippine officials. Attempts to reach Aquino's attorney for comment were not immediately successful.

Government sources told CNN that Aquino is expected to be indicted this week.

U.S. Attorney Christopher Christie of New Jersey told reporters at the time of the September arrests that there was no information to indicate any link to possible terrorist activity. The Philippines government has been a major U.S. ally in the ongoing war on terror.

CNN's Kelli Arena contributed to this report.

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