Reality Leigh Winner is a 25 year old federal contractor who was charged in a matter of hours after a story based on her leaked intel was published by a news outlet. Reality Leigh Winner is charged of leaking classified National Security Agency (NSA) documents to an unnamed news outlet last month.
The charges against the federal contractor were made just an hour later following the publication of a story regarding an NSA report describing Russian attempts to interfere with American voting systems in the 2016 election cycle. According to a secret NSA document obtained by The Intercept, it is claimed that Russian hackers managed to penetrate US voting systems more deeply than previously thought, and that includes hacking election officials via cyber attacks.
Russia’s GRU (General Staff Main Intelligence Directorate) launched a phishing attack via a coordinated email campaign and hacked more than one hundred election officials prior to the November election, according to the NSA report. Reality Weigh Winner is accused of removing classified documents from a government building and mailing the intel to a news outlet. Winner is a resident of Augusta, Georgia and she was arrested on Saturday, appearing on the charge earlier on Monday.
The United States Justice Department did not confirm so far that the respective leak came from Winner. Reality Leigh Winner was assigned to a federal facility in Georgia while she was working for Pluribus International Corp., holding a top-secret classified security clearance since February 13th.
The leaked intel was discovered and the investigation begun after the federal government received an affidavit from the news outlet. The story goes something like this:
“The U.S. Government Agency examined the document shared by the News Outlet and determined the pages of the intelligence reporting appeared to be folded and/or creased, suggesting they had been printed and hand-carried out of a secured space,”
“Winner further acknowledged that she was aware of the contents of the intelligence reporting and that she knew the contents of the reporting could be used to the injury of the United States and to the advantage of a foreign nation,” the affidavit stated.
“During that conversation, Winner admitted intentionally identifying and printing the classified intelligence reporting at issue despite not having a ‘need to know,’ and with knowledge that the intelligence reporting was classified.”
This seems to be the beginning of the long awaited for crackdown on leakers by the Trump administration. Reality Winner is a former US air-force linguist, an “Arabist” who speaks Farsi, Pashto and Dari and also a big fan of CNN/Anderson Cooper, Bill Maher, Michael Moore and Colbert, i.e. a die hard leftie.