A former F.B.I. intelligence analyst from Kansas received nearly four years in prison on Wednesday in a case that bears parallels to that of former President Donald J. Trump, including the same charge of willful retention of national security secrets.
The analyst, Kendra Kingsbury, 50, was accused of improperly removing and unlawfully taking home about 386 classified documents to her personal residence in Dodge City, Kan. She pleaded guilty to two counts of violating the Espionage Act.
During her sentencing hearing in Federal District Court in Kansas City, Mo., Ms. Kingsbury said she was loyal and did not apologize for taking the records. She was “guilty of being too honest,” Ms. Kingsbury said, because she had told the F.B.I. in late 2017 she had the documents. She criticized investigators, accusing them of vilifying her character.
Some of the documents would have revealed the “government’s most important and secretive methods of collecting essential national security intelligence,” prosecutors wrote in a sentencing memo, adding that she removed sensitive documents during the more than 12 years she worked in the F.B.I.’s office in Kansas City.
In Mr. Trump’s case, he faces 31 counts of willfully retaining national defense secrets, each of which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. The former president has also been charged with conspiracy to obstruct justice, corruptly scheming to hide information from the government and lying to investigators.
Ms. Kingsbury, like Mr. Trump, was accused of not being helpful or forthcoming with investigators.
Ms. Kingsbury’s lawyer attributed her behavior to a series of underlying events, including serious health problems she experienced after she began working with the F.B.I. in 2004 and several deaths in the family, including the murder of her uncle in Texas.
“These things not only resulted in physical and mental struggles for Ms. Kingsbury, but also caused her difficulties with her work,” her lawyer, Marc Ermine, wrote.
Her lawyer argued that Ms. Kingsbury should receive probation for several reasons. Not only did she endure a public shaming, he said, but he pointed to her lack of a criminal record, her admission to the F.B.I. that she had the materials and her consent to having agents search her house.
“Her situation has been publicized locally and nationally — garnering mention alongside prominent political figures whose conduct appears uncannily analogous to Ms. Kingsbury’s,” her lawyers said.
But prosecutors said she revealed that she had taken home the extremely sensitive documents only after she suspected she was being surveilled.
In their sentencing memo, prosecutors also disclosed that after reviewing her phone records, agents learned that Ms. Kingsbury had contacted subjects of F.B.I. counterterrorism investigations. She denied making and receiving the calls over a period of years and offered no explanation as to why she made them. Investigators were unable to determine why she had reached out to people under investigation.
Prosecutors added that after she was indicted, they offered her a chance to explain why she took the classified materials home and how she had used them. But Ms. Kingsbury declined to provide any additional information, prosecutors said.
Ms. Kingsbury’s punishment, prosecutors said, should reflect her behavior. They wrote in the memo that the “defendant was more than reckless or careless with the trust that was placed in her by the F.B.I.”
Prosecutors highlighted the calls to subjects of F.B.I. inquiries and noted that she was also “unhelpful” during the investigation.
Before he sentenced Ms. Kingsbury, Judge Stephen R. Bough of Federal District Court agreed with prosecutors that “we will never ever know what took place.”