It’s hard to know what’s what when national security is a factor

On Behalf of | Oct 13, 2017 | Employee Rights

In our previous post, we introduced readers to Kalkines and Garrity. These are forms of warning similar to the one most people are familiar with – the Miranda warning. One key thing that makes them different is the circumstances in which they are used. Federal officials are required to issue Kalkines/Garrity warnings to interview subjects when they investigate suspected or alleged misconduct. If the purported wrongdoing is criminal in nature, authorities are required to Mirandize you before placing you in custody.

There is another significant difference between the warnings. While Miranda lets you know that you have a right to remain silent and that anything you say could be used against you. Kalkines/Garrity is supposed to make clear that you don’t have a right to remain silent, but that you do have criminal immunity for anything you do say. Obviously, it’s an important distinction for protecting rights of federal workers.

Many readers may be familiar with the case of Reality Winner. She’s the young Texas woman who once worked for the National Security Agency in Georgia. She’s facing criminal charges for allegedly leaking a classified report to a news outlet. She’s was charged in June and recently had her date for trial moved from this month to March.

The 25-year-old former NSA contract worker’s asked to be freed on bail pending the trial, but a federal judge rejected that request, calling her a flight risk. He pointed to what he called strong evidence, including a purported confession to FBI agents. The question some observers are asking, however, is under what conditions the claimed statement was made.

One news report says prosecutors have used statements Winner made to investigators before her arrest in June to argue for keeping her jailed until her trial. If that statement was made under the auspices of a Kalkines/Garrity warning, it prompts some to wonder why its immunity from criminal action wouldn’t apply.