Former Navy SEAL Matt Bissonnette, who wrote a tell-all book about the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, is under investigation for revealing classified material, The New York Times reported.
Bissonnette published "No Easy Day" under the pen name Mark Owen in 2012 without getting approval from the U.S. Department of Defense, according to The Times. The author, who claims to have been a part of SEAL Team 6, apologized for not running the book by the DOD, but said he did submit the manuscript for a sequel, due out Nov. 10.
In submitting that manuscript, called "No Hero — The Evolution of a Navy SEAL," Bissonnette also turned over copies of speeches and slides that he used, the Daily Mail said.
Bissonnette’s attorney, Robert Luskin, told The Times he thought his client had a favorable agreement with the Justice Department and the Pentagon over the disclosures in his first book. The agreement reportedly required Bissonnette to give "some of the millions of dollars in royalties he had earned," the newspaper said.
Instead, the Justice Department opened a criminal investigation. Luskin told The Times that he expects the review of the second book, the accompanying speeches, and the criminal investigation to be "resolved favorably."
Bissonnette is not the only Navy SEAL putting out information about SEAL activities, and Luskin said his client has been frustrated because he is being held to standards that former teammates are not. The movie "Zero Dark Thirty," for example, was made with help from SEAL consultants.
The Mail said the identity of the SEAL who shot bin Laden will be revealed on an upcoming Fox special.
"Matt is not complaining about the fact that he was required to follow the rules," Luskin told The Times. "His beef is that others were not, and that they were leaking prodigiously for their own purposes."
Brian Fallon, a Justice Department spokesman, would not discuss whether there was an ongoing criminal investigation, but said federal employees who didn’t get proper clearance for a book could "be prevented from profiting" from that book.
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