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Adam Klasfeld | National Security Journalism

From the Russia investigation to the military commissions of the accused 9/11 plotters at Guantánamo Bay, my national security journalism has been hard-hitting and wide-ranging.
In 2014, the Medill National Security Journalism Conference selected me as one of 30 reporters to attend.

The Russia Probe

Over the course of the Russia investigation, I became a go-to source for breaking news about the prosecution of President Donald Trump's personal attorney and fixer Michael Cohen. CTV News invited me to discuss Cohen's three year sentence, and the Washington Post, Politico, The Daily Beast, and other outlets cited my live-coverage of the proceedings. After the Mueller report's release, MSNBC invited me on Lawrence O'Donnell's "The Last Word" to analyze the mystery criminal referrals it contained live on the air, and then brought me back on weeks later for an update on a federal court fight over congressional subpoenas of Trump's Deutsche Bank records.

Writing Samples

Cohen Case: FBI Suspected Cohen as Foreign Agent Nearly a Year Before Raids

Deutsche Case: Subpoenas Targeting Trump Bank Records Get Lift-Off

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International Money Laundering

The biggest money laundering scheme to Iran ever charged in U.S. history played out in a federal courthouse in New York and involved a gold trader named Reza Zarrab, whose playboy lifestyle earned him the nickname the "Turkish Gatsby." At the time that I covered this case, Turkey became the world's leading press jailer, and I helped break through a media blackout in that country with uncensored live coverage of a case that had been a thorn in the side of Turkish strongman Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Trump administration insiders like former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani and ex-attorney general Michael Mukasey came to Zarrab's defense. Along the way, I interviewed presiding U.S. District Judge Richard Berman about the case, and Turkish NBA star Enes Kanter about the Interpol red notice against him by Erdoğan's government.

Writing Samples

Turkish President Implicated in Iran Sanctions Case

In the Age of Trump, Judge Reflects on D’Souza and the ‘New Rudy’

Turkish Knicks Player Enes Kanter Fights Pressure From Erdoğan

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Chelsea Manning Court-Martial

One of only a handful of reporters providing daily coverage of the court-martial of WikiLeaks source Chelsea Manning from gavel to gavel inside a military courtroom in Ft. Meade, Md., I repeatedly uncovered scoops about the case widely cited in the international press. In this story, about the aiding the enemy charge -- the military equivalent of treason -- I investigated one of the prosecution's claims that an alleged "enemy" was "classified." The article quoted three military law professors who had never heard of such a thing as a "classified enemy," long before the government dropped the charge. The New York Times, the Associated Press, National Public Radio, Radio New Zealand and many other outlets cited my coverage of the trial widely.

Seven Years Later, Chelsea Manning Freed from Prison

Mother Jones was one of the outlets that repeatedly invited my commentary about the legal issues surrounding the Manning court-martial. In this freelance story for the magazine, I reported on scientific studies finding that transgender people are twice as likely to enlist into the armed services, and that suicidal behavior is 20 times more prevalent in transgender vets. After this article's publication, I learned that Veterans Affairs disseminated the story on its internal newsletter, and the Pentagon shelved what the Secretary of Defense called its "outdated" anti-transgender regulations two years later.

Link to story: The Pentagon's Transgender Problem

Dateline: Guantánamo Bay

On three occasions, I traveled  to the U.S. military base in Guantánamo Bay to cover the military commissions of the accused Sept. 11 plotters, including alleged "mastermind" Khalid Sheikh Mohammad. In the story below, I reported on my roughly 5-mile run along Cuban coastline with their lead prosecutor, Brig. Gen. Mark Martins, for an extended interview about the case, the future of the military commissions, and how the legacy of torture could affect a trial.

Link to story: Sweating Out Guantanamo's Pitfalls With Brig. General

The Torture Report

On Aug. 1, 2014, President Barack Obama acknowledged, "We tortured some folks," but it took several more months for the White House to clear a heavily redacted summary of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence's report on the CIA's rendition, detention and interrogation program. This is my breaking coverage of what came to be known as the torture report.

Link to story:  Long-Delayed Senate Report Paints Grisly Picture of CIA Torture

Questions about my reporting? Want to see more? Email me at

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