Accused NSA Leaker Reality Winner Will Enter Not Guilty Plea
- Author: Leroy Wright Jun 20, 2017,
Jun 20, 2017, 19:14
Her swift arrest Saturday by Federal Bureau of Investigation agents - even before the document she allegedly stole was posted on news website The Intercept - follows Trump's bitter complaints about leaks from U.S. probes into Russia's attempt to tilt the 2016 election in his favor.
According to court documents, a federal grand jury indicted 25-year-old Reality Winner on a single count - "willful retention and transmission of national defense information". She is accused of removing classified material from a government facility and mailing it to a news outlet.
Victor was held at the jail in Lincoln County, Georgia, where she had an 11-minute court appearance.
On Monday, right around the time national security watchdog website The Intercept published a classified intelligence report detailing Russian attempts to screw with American elections (including attempts to hack widely-used voter registration software and more than 100 local elections officials across the country), the U.S. Justice Department announced that victor, a former Air Force linguist who was raised in the small South Texas town of Kingsville, had been arrested as the Trump administration's first prosecution of someone under the century-old Espionage Act.
Victor was likely caught due to some apparent oversights in The Intercept's source verification process.
On Twitter, Winner posted about leaks and regularly took to social media to blast President Donald Trump, though her Twitter activity dropped off significantly after she began working for Pluribus in February. But the Justice Department didn't announce her arrest until Monday - the same day The Intercept published a report on the document.
Winner's arrest stunned her relatives and associates, and it shone a sudden spotlight on the young woman, who now faces up to a decade in prison.
Solari said Winner's laptop also contained software that could enable her to access online black-markets and buy items - such as a fake ID or passport - without revealing her identity or location. David Perdue's office in a picture posted to her Instagram account.
She was scheduled to appear before a federal judge Thursday for a detention hearing.
In this June 6, 2017 image made from video, Billie Winner-Davis, left, the mother of Reality Leigh Winner, and her stepfather Gary Davis, speak to media about their daughter in east Augusta, Ga. "Everybody in America knows what she looks like at this point".
Victor remained locked up Tuesday on federal charges that she made copies of classified documents containing top-secret material and mailed them to an online news organization.
Victor posted about leaks and regularly took to social media to blast President Donald Trump, though her Twitter activity dropped off significantly after she began working for Pluribus in February.
"She's a veteran, six years' service of the Air Force", Davis said to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The case against victor, who worked for NSA contractor Pluribus International Corporation in August, Georgia, appears formidable. Her mother also told CNN that her daughter said she was "very scared" during the arrest. "I don't even have a job right now and I donated". Some media analysts say the journalists were careless at best.