Teacher-Turned Nuclear Submarine Spy Says Wanted to Flee Because of Trump, Not Arrest – Report
© Wikipedia / https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virginia-class_submarine#/media/File:Virginia_class_submarine.jpgComputer-based rendering of Virginia class attack submarine
© Wikipedia / https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virginia-class_submarine#/media/File:Virginia_class_submarine.jpg
In 2020, an employee of the program for the creation of nuclear submarines and his wife were arrested and charged with an attempt to sell military secrets to another state. The engineer tried to hide the memory card with the classified data in a sandwich.
The wife of the engineer, former school teacher Diana Toebbe, wanted to leave the country because of President Donald Trump, her lawyers said in court on Wednesday. They denied the fact that she attempted to escape justice, according to NBC News.
The couple was arrested after plotting to flee the country as Diana had written to her husband Jonathan: “I cannot believe that the two of us wouldn’t be welcomed and rewarded by a foreign govt.”
Now lawyers claim the couple wanted to escape due to their frustration with the country’s political situation, which could be seen in their exchange of messages that reportedly took place in 2019.
According to the texts, Diana Toebbe wanted to live in France as she “was done” with Trump, who “rigged the entire system.”
Their chat concluded with Jonathan saying: “We’ve got passports, and some savings. In a real pinch we can flee quickly.”
“Obviously, the additional messages paint an entirely different picture as to why Mrs. Toebbe wanted to leave the country,” wrote Barry Beck, one of her lawyers. “Rather than scheming to escape capture and prosecution for crimes, Mrs. Toebbe was clearly motivated to leave the country for political reasons.”
Her lawyers also claim that Diana was unaware of her husband’s scheme to sell classified data.
10 October 2021, 18:57 GMT
Jonathan Toebbe worked in the US Navy as a nuclear engineer in a nuclear power plant program. He had access to classified data, related to the design elements, performance parameters and characteristics of reactors used on nuclear submarines. He was actively screened by national security through the US Department of Defense, which gave him access to classified data.
In April 2020, Toebbe mailed a package containing classified information to representatives of an unnamed country with an offer to sell secret information. He managed to sell some of the data he possessed, but his “foreign counterpart” appeared to be an FBI covert operative and, after another attempt to pass on information, Jonathan and Diana were arrested.