Attorneys for Richard W. Miller, the first FBI agent charged with spying for a foreign government, released a statement today about his dealings with a Russian emigre, including his insistence that he was only gathering intelligence for FBI use.
The six-page statement, made to his superiors at the Federal Bureau of Investigation a week before his Oct. 2 arrest, was filed to counter government statements indicating that Miller had confessed to helping the Soviets.
Miller said the Russian immigrant, Svetlana Ogorodnikova, now awaiting trial with her husband, phoned him in May and offered to provide information. Her initial reports about Soviet activities proved false, he said, but during one conversation "it was indicated to her that I was unhappy in my work . . . . It appeared as though she was sympathetic to my problem."
Miller said he is certain he informed his superiors about his contacts with Ogorodnikova up to June 20, when she left on a trip to the Soviet Union, and "possibly" told them of later contacts.
In mid-August, he said, she "asked me if I wanted to work with the KGB Soviet intelligence . . . . I told her that I was not interested; however, if I did do something like that, it would have to be for a lot of money -- like $1 million or $2 million -- because if I was caught I would lose my job and everything."
Miller said that he accompanied Ogorodnikova to San Francisco, where she said she visited the Soviet consulate, and that on the way back they argued. Miller said he told her that he was ending their relationship because she said the KGB had photographed them and that this would ruin his career.
She indicated she thought he was using her to funnel information to the FBI, Miller said, but he told her that their two "governments should have nothing to do with our relationship." They later reconciled, and Miller reported to his superiors as she was about to arrange a trip for both of them to Austria to meet a top Soviet official.