The wife of a U.S. Navy nuclear submarine engineer arrested and charged with espionage after selling sensitive data to an undercover FBI agent posing as a representative of a foreign government is a left-wing activist who opposed former President Donald Trump.
Diana Toebbe will appear with her husband, Jonathan Toebbe, in federal court on Tuesday on charges of selling classified military secrets pertaining to nuclear submarines to an unidentified foreign country.
Her social media accounts indicate she is a supporter of “The Resistance” as well as 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. She has also shared posts supportive of the Black Lives Matter movement and “stopping Donald Trump,” the Daily Mail reported.
The outlet noted that one of her retweets in 2017, a few days after Trump was inaugurated, contains a photo that says, “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.”
A humanities professor at the Key School for the past decade, a progressive private institution in Annapolis, Md., where she taught English and history, a former student, Craig Martien, 20, who graduated in 2019, described Diana as “insanely smart” but who was also upset by Trump’s victory and contemplated moving to Australia.
“She said she couldn’t stand the current state of politics and actually had found some job opportunities over there,” he told the Daily Mail.
Most of her social media posts are benign, the Daily Mail notes, but several talked about “The Resistance” during Trump’s tenure and one said, “America is Temporarily Out of Order.”
She also retweeted a post from left-wing activist group MoveOn containing a link to an NPR transcript of a speech from then-first lady Michelle Obama who was critical of Trump’s alleged treatment of some women.
Shortly after her post following Trump’s inauguration, Diana retweeted another post from CJ Werleman, a self-described “activist against Islamophobia” which contained a clip of an Iranian-American talking about the then-president’s travel ban with the caption, “Watch this video and then try to describe immigrants in dehumanizing terms such as ‘waves’ or ‘floods.'”
A Facebook post to her account said, “Women Can Stop Trump.”
According to a criminal complaint filed by the government, Jonathan Toebbe sold secrets to the undercover FBI agent for much of last year involving the Navy’s newest and most sophisticated nuclear-powered attack sub, the Virginia class.
The Justice Department maintains that he sent documents in April 2020 to a foreign government informing officials he sought to sell them classified information about nuclear reactors that power the subs. While the foreign power wasn’t named, officials with that government — presumed to be a U.S. ally — contacted American officials and passed the documents along to them in December 2020 after the election.
The FBI said that Toebbe would hide encrypted memory cards in various items including a band-aid wrapper, a packet of chewing gum, and a peanut butter sandwich.
The DoJ also said that Jonathan Toebbe worked in the office of the Chief of Naval Operations, the service branch’s top officer, for 15 months, and that he worked on nuclear propulsion for the U.S. Navy since 2012. That work included top-secret technology that is utilized to reduce the underwater signature — noise and vibration — to help the subs avoid detection.
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