NSA CONTRACTOR JAILED FOR CLASSIFIED DOCUMENT LEAK
Reality Leigh Winner, a federal contractor with Top Secret security clearance has been charged by the Justice Department with leaking a top-secret document on alleged efforts by the Russian government to manipulate the outcome of the American presidential election.
According to federal complaints, the 25-year-old is accused of “removing classified material from a government facility and mailing it to a news outlet.” Reports have it that the leaked document was used for an article published earlier in the week by The Intercept and it contains information about a military intelligence cyber attack carried out in 2016 by the Russian military on an American voting software supplier.
According to prosecutors, Winner did not deny carrying out the act when confronted with the allegations. In fact, she admitted that it was intentional. She was arrested on Saturday in Augusta, Georgia. Further findings revealed that six people printed the document, but Winner was the only one who had email contact with the media outlet. Vivian Siu, The intercept’s director of communications told newsmen that the document was provided anonymously.
Siu said, “As we reported in the story, the NSA document was provided to us anonymously. The intercept has no knowledge of the identity of the source.”
In a separate statement on Monday, the Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosentein said: “Releasing classified material without authorization threatens our nation’s security and undermines public faith in government. People who are trusted with classified information and pledge to protect it must be held accountable when they violate that obligation.”
Winner could spend up to 10 years in jail as punishment for leaking classified information. Her attorney, Titus Nichols said a detention hearing will hold in Augusta on Thursday.
It would be recalled that only recently, Attorney General Jeff Sessions condemned leaks in the aftermath of the terror attack in Manchester saying: “We have already initiated appropriate steps to address these rampant leaks that undermine our national security.”
Winner’s mother said her daughter isn’t really a fan of politics and that she has always been critical of past leakers such as Edward Snowden. She said: “She’s never ever given me any kind of indication that she was in favor of that at all. I don’t know how to explain it.”
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