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Hearing set in Baltimore in NSA leaks case

A former National Security Agency employee accused of mishandling classified information will be in court in Baltimore for an unusual hearing.

Thomas Drake was charged after an investigation into leaks to a newspaper. It’s a rare case because he’s charged with violating espionage laws without being accused of spying. His supporters claim he’s being punished for blowing the whistle on inefficiencies and mismanagement at the NSA.

Federal prosecutors want Drake’s lawyers to disclose the names of their expert consultants months before trial. They say that’s a necessary step if the experts want access to classified information.

But Drake’s lawyers contend they don’t have to share the names of their experts unless they plan to have the experts testify. They argue sharing the names would compromise their trial strategy.

A hearing on the issue is set for Monday afternoon.