Couple Caught Selling U.S Military Secrets Exposed as Anti-Trump BLM Activists
Navy nuclear engineer Jonathan Toebbe and wife Diana arrested for selling intel to spies
An American couple, who was arrested for selling U.S. military secrets to foreign spies, has now been exposed as far-left, anti-Trump, Black Lives Matter activists.
45-year-old Diana Toebbe was arrested along with her husband, Navy submarine engineer Jonathan Toebbe, 42, and charged with spying on the U.S. for an unidentified foreign government.
However, it has now emerged that Diana is an active leftist who frequently promotes the far-left Marxist group Black Lives Matter and rallies against supporters of President Donald Trump.
Diana was caught after she organized a babysitter on Facebook with her husband so they could make their last secret drop of stolen intelligence before they were caught by the FBI.
Jonathan and Diana Toebbe appeared in court in Martinsburg, West Virginia, on Tuesday.
They are both accused of selling military secrets and classified information about nuclear submarines to an unidentified foreign country.
They were ordered detained without bail until a detention hearing on Friday at 11 am.
A preliminary examination hearing into their case is slated for Wednesday, October, 20, at 1 pm.
The Toebbes, both of whom were represented by court-appointed counsel, could face either life in prison or a fine of $100,000 and five years of supervised release.
The social media account for Diana revealed that she's a vocal Hillary Clinton supporter and an active organizer for the anti-Trump group "The Resistance."
She has shared performative posts about the Black Lives Matter movement and "stopping Donald Trump."
On July 28, she asked for a babysitter on Facebook to watch her children early on Saturday morning for up to five to six hours.
She then posted an update to the original post, only visible to friends, with the word "*FOUND*," implying a babysitter had been organized.
She and her husband then left their home in Annapolis, Maryland, unaware they were being watched by the FBI, and headed to West Virginia.
The agents then witnessed Jonathan place a 32-gigabyte memory card hidden in a sealed Band-Aid wrapper in a container set up as a drop point by an undercover FBI operative, officials said.
The FBI said that Jonathan added a note with the package saying he was interested in selling information on Virginia-class nuclear submarine reactions to a foreign power back when Donald Trump was president.
The country the Toebbes were allegedly trying to sell the nuclear secrets to were not clear and neither are their motivations.
However, court documents suggest that the country was most likely an ally or neutral government because it cooperated with the FBI during the sting operation to expose the Toebbes.
Some experts suggested that the Toebbes were trying to sell the information to France, but French officials said they were not involved in the incident, according to the New York Times.
Diana was a Humanities professor at the Key School for the last ten years, a "progressive" private school in Annapolis, where she taught history and English.
Former graduates and current employees described Diana as a "strong feminist" and "very liberal."
Craig Martien, 20, a 2019 alum who collaborated with Diana on a yearbook and an after-school anthropology club, said she was "insanely smart."
However, he said she was shocked by Trump's 2016 election and mentioned several times the possibility of moving to Australia — one of six countries that currently possess nuclear submarines.
"She said she couldn't stand the current state of politics and actually had found some job opportunities over there," he said.
On her Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, Diana shared pictures of her dogs, her family, and selfies - a far cry from her alleged life as a spy.
But some posts hinted that she was unhappy with the government and her country.
She made multiple posts about supporting The Resistance and in one she retweeted that "America is Temporarily Out of Order" during Trump's presidency.
She also supported liberal ideologies, including the Black Lives Matter movement.
Her profile picture reads "Black Lives Matter," and a post last year celebrating the social media promotion of Marxism called "#blackouttuesday."
One post she shared in 2019 is a photo from an unidentified Women's March overlaid with the quote, "Stay angry, little Meg. You will need all your anger now," from Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time.
The accounts her Twitter profile follows are mostly "resistance" accounts in protest of Trump, including the "Rogue NASA" account described as "the unofficial 'Resistance' team of NASA" on its bio description.
In 2016, she retweeted a post from liberal activist group MoveOn about former First Lady Michelle Obama's speech criticism of then-presidential candidate Donald Trump for his treatment of women.
One retweet in 2017, just days after Trump's inauguration, shows a picture caption: "To the rest of the world, due to an insufficient amount of moral courage, America is temporarily out of order.
"We hope to restore service as quickly as possible.
"In the meantime, we in the resistance movement join hands with those around the world who realize we are one people.
"May the forces of good be with us. #TheResistance."
Around the same time, she retweeted a post from communist and self-proclaimed "activist against Islamophobia" CJ Werleman which included a video of an Iranian-American discussing Trump's travel ban with the caption, "Watch this video and then try to describe immigrants in dehumanizing terms such as 'waves' or 'floods'."
She followed up with another tweet from an account called ALT DOJ, which describes itself as the "Resistance" Department of Justice, that included a photo of people protesting the travel ban outside then-Senator Orrin Hatch's office at the Capitol.
Its caption read: "Scene in front of Hatch's office right now. capitol police threatening arrests for seated protesters! #RESIST #TheResistance #MuslimBan"
One Facebook post on Diana's account said "Women Can Stop Trump."
Her other profile pictures feature failed 2016 presidential candidate Hilary Clinton's campaign symbol; a photo of the transgender flag; and various profile photos supporting the LGBTQ+ community.
Meanwhile, Jonathan's Facebook account's most recent public post is from 2013.
The posts included stories from the satire site, The Onion, including one headline he posted in 2011, reading, "New GOP Strategy Involves Reelecting Obama, Making His Life Even More Miserable."
Prior to his arrest on Saturday, Jonathan hid encrypted memory cards in a peanut butter sandwich and a chewing gum packet at different drop-off locations.
In a criminal complaint detailing espionage-related charges against Jonathan and Diana Toebbe, the government said he sold information for nearly the past year to a foreign power representative.
The FBI says in April 2020 Toebbe sent a package of Navy documents to a foreign government and wrote that he was interested in selling information on Virginia-class nuclear submarine reactors.
The unidentified foreign government sat on the documents before turning them over to the US in December 2020, after the election.
Toebbe was arrested in West Virginia on Saturday along with his wife, a teacher, after he had placed a removable memory card at a prearranged "dead drop" in the state, according to the Justice Department.
He hid encrypted memory cards in a peanut butter sandwich, a chewing gum packet, and a band-aid wrapper.
Toebbe worked for 15 months in the office of the chief of naval operations, the top officer in the military branch.
He has worked on naval nuclear propulsion since 2012, including secret technology devised to reduce the noise and vibration of submarines, factors that can give away their location.
Toebbe stated in one message that he had hoped the foreign government would be able to extract him and his family if he was ever tracked down, saying "we have passports and cash set aside for this purpose."
Authorities say he provided instructions for how to conduct the furtive relationship, with a letter that said: "I apologize for this poor translation into your language. Please forward this letter to your military intelligence agency.
"I believe this information will be of great value to your nation. This is not a hoax."
An undercover FBI agent posing as a representative of the foreign government made contact with Toebbe and agreed to pay thousands of dollars in cryptocurrency for the information he was offering.
The emails show that at first Toebbe remained wary but that he came to trust the undercover agent due to the hefty amount he was going to be paid.
It was agreed he would receive $100,00 in crypto and was paid $70,000 before he was caught.
The FBI also arranged a "signal" to Toebbe from the country's embassy in Washington over the Memorial Day weekend.
The papers do not describe how the FBI was able to arrange such a signal.
Last June, the FBI says, the undercover agent sent $10,000 in cryptocurrency to Toebbe, describing it as a sign of good faith and trust.
Weeks later, federal agents watched as the Toebbes arrived at an agreed-upon location in West Virginia for the exchange, with Diana Toebbe appearing to serve as a lookout for her husband during a dead-drop operation for which the FBI paid $20,000, according to the complaint.
The FBI recovered a blue memory card wrapped in plastic and placed it between two slices of bread on a peanut butter sandwich, court documents said.
The FBI provided the contents of the memory card to a Navy subject matter expert who determined that the records included design elements and performance characteristics of Virginia-class submarine reactors, the Justice Department said.
The FBI conducted similar dead-drop exchanges over the next several months, including one in August in Virginia in which Toebbe was paid roughly $70,000 and concealed in a chewing gum package a memory card that contained schematic designs for the Virginia-class submarine, according to court documents.
One memory card included a typed message that said, in part: "I hope your experts are very happy with the sample provided and I understand the importance of a small exchange to grow our trust."
Many of the emails that were exchanged between Toebbe and the representative of the foreign country were transcribed in the court documents.
He used two pseudonyms: Alice Hill and Bob Burns.
The messages suggest that Toebbe was offering the classified information to a power that already has nuclear submarines.
Toebbe states in one message that the information "reflects decades of U.S. Navy 'lessons learned' that will help keep your sailors safe."
Only six countries currently operate nuclear-powered submarines — China, France, India, Russia, the UK, and the US.
The US and UK are set to provide Australia with the technology to deploy nuclear-powered submarines, as part of the first initiative under the new trilateral security partnership AUKUS.
Prior to the new deal, which ignited a diplomatic row between Washington and Paris, the US had only shared the technology of its submarines with Britain.
Each of these underwater craft cost an estimated $3billion to build.
According to public Navy records, he worked for 15 months in the office of the chief of naval operations, the top officer in the military's branch.
Since 2012, Toebbe has worked for the Navy and he had high-level clearances in nuclear engineering.
Toebbe started working in the military as a civilian in 2017.
He was commissioned in the Navy and rose to the rank of lieutenant before moving to the Navy Rescue, which he left in December 2020 — the month the FBI established contact with him.
According to court documents, he has worked on naval nuclear propulsion since 2012, including on technology devised to reduce the noise and vibration of submarines, factors that can give away their location.
He also worked on naval reactors in Arlington, Virginia, from 2012 to 2014.
He then was a student at a naval reactor school in Pittsburgh before returning to Arlington to work on reactors again.
The complaint alleges violations of the Atomic Energy Act, which restricts the disclosure of information related to atomic weapons or nuclear materials.
It is unclear how many counts the couple, who have two children and live in Annapolis, Maryland, face.
However, espionage carries a maximum sentence of ten years under US law.
Diana Toebbe is a humanities teacher at the Key School, a private school in Annapolis.
The K-12 school said on Sunday that she had been suspended indefinitely.
The FBI also stated that Toebbe would only have had access to the documents that he allegedly shared with the undercover FBI agent while working at the Bettis Atomic Power Laboratory, a government research facility in West Mifflin, Pennsylvania.
Both, Diana and Jonathan Toebbe are scheduled to appear in a West Virginia federal court on Tuesday.