A federal judge today ordered FBI agents in the Walker spy case to appear here Monday to share information from debriefings of John Anthony Walker Jr. with defense lawyers for Walker's brother, Arthur James.
Judge J. Calvitt Clarke Jr. rejected a defense request to postpone Arthur Walker's sentencing, scheduled for Tuesday. But he agreed with defense attorneys that they are entitled to information gained in recent FBI questioning of John Walker about his brother's role in the spy case.
Clarke convicted Arthur Walker, 51, a retired Navy lieutenant commander, of seven counts of espionage on Aug. 9. John Walker, 48, mastermind of the spy ring that funneled military secrets to the Soviet Union for 18 years, pleaded guilty to three counts of espionage Oct. 28 in exchange for a lighter sentence for his son Michael. Michael Walker, 22, a seaman on the nuclear aircraft carrier USS Nimitz until his arrest in May, pleaded guilty to espionage the same day.
As part of his plea agreement, John Walker, a retired Navy chief warrant officer, agreed to fully describe his espionage activities to federal authorities.
Defense lawyer J. Brian Donnelly said today in court that he understood FBI agents recently had quizzed John Walker during a five-day period. The questioning, Donnelly said, concerned actions of Jerry Alfred Whitworth, 46, the fourth man charged and the only defendant still to face trial.
Donnelly asserted that John Walker also discussed Arthur Walker's role during the debriefing and that the information could cast his client in a more favorable light.
Donnelly said the defense is eager to learn more about the debriefing in order to offset a presentence report on Arthur Walker. Donnelly said the report contains "innuendo" and "suspicion" that Arthur Walker's participation might have been greater than previously thought.
"I don't pay attention to innuendo and guesswork in a presentence report," Clarke said.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Tommy E. Miller agreed to produce the agents Monday after Clarke said Arthur Walker "is entitled to know what his brother says about his involvement." The information, which Donnelly said is "not public," will be turned over in a private meeting between the FBI and the defense.