A Russian woman who worked inside the US embassy in Moscow for more than ten years has been accused of spying.
The unidentified woman, who was fired in 2017 after her security clearance was revoked, reportedly had access to the secret service’s intranet and email systems, potentially giving her access to confidential information, including schedules of the US president and vice-president.
The woman first came under suspicion in 2016, following a “routine security sweep conducted by two investigators from the US Department of State’s Regional Security Office”, who discovered she had “regular and unauthorised meetings with members of the FSB, Russia’s principal security agency”, The Guardian reports.
A senior administration official told CNN: “We figure that all of them are talking to the FSB, but she was giving them way more information than she should have.”
The Regional Security Office reportedly alerted the secret service of its findings in January 2017. However, the woman continued to work at the embassy for some time before the secret service “decided to let her go quietly months later, possibly to contain any potential embarrassment”, says The Guardian.
The woman had her security clearance revoked and she was dismissed shortly before a number of US embassy staff were expelled by Moscow, following US sanctions against Russia.
The secret service issued a statement that “did not deny she was a mole, but downplayed her role” at the embassy, reports The Daily Telegraph.