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A former CIA officer whose media interviews about the contents of the destroyed CIA tapes landed him in hot water has hired prominent defense attorney Plato Cacheris to represent him in any potential criminal or civil actions. John Kiriakou, the ex-CIA employee who was involved in the capture of suspected al-Qaida terrorist Abu Zubaydah in 2002, said in December that he was present during the interrogation of the detainee but did not witness any waterboarding, the practice of simulating drowning by pouring water over a strapped person’s face. In late December, the CIA sent a criminal referral to the Justice Department to probe Kiriakou for possible unauthorized disclosure of classified information. Initially, Kiriakou hired D.C.’s Mark Zaid, but has since switched to Cacheris. “He came to me because he knew of me,” says Cacheris, of Trout Cacheris. Among Cacheris’ former clientele: former FBI agent Robert Hanssen, ex-CIA agent Aldrich Ames, famed White House intern Monica Lewinsky, and the late Attorney General John Mitchell.
Pedro Ruz Gutierrez can be contacted at [email protected].

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