A whistleblower case from 2010 reveals the peril faced by whistleblowers seeking to expose wrongdoing.

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Do Whistleblower Protections Work? Ask This One.

Additional Producer: Peter Klein

The government employee at the center of the first impeachment inquiry of President Trump showed the power of whistleblower disclosures. But a case from 2010 reveals the peril faced by those seeking to expose wrongdoing. Thomas Drake, a National Security Agency executive, attempted to report what he regarded as wasteful practices and warrantless spying on American citizens. His complaints were ignored, and despite a law meant to protect whistleblowers, the Justice Department issued a felony indictment against him. The case against Drake eventually fell apart, but by that time he was broke, his marriage had suffered, and he was ostracized. β€œHe was kryptonite,” his defense lawyer said.