Reality Winner, from Atlanta, Georgia, is a young government contractor who is now being accused of leaking some top secret National Security Agency documents regarding Russia’s the possibility of a Russian Interference in last year’s Presidential election.
Winner was arrested on Monday, with the Department of Justice announcing within hours after her arrest that she was being charged with removing classified material from a government facility.
As soon as she got out of the building where she worked, she mailed the documents she found to a news outlet. Because of her actions, she is looking at up to 10 years in prison.
Winner is still in federal custody, with her detention hearing coming up on Thursday.
Winner has not had any trouble before the law before this incident and has even worked for the Air Force as a linguist who specializes in Pashto, Farsi and Dari.
There were only 6 people who printed the document, according to an audit that was performed internally by the agency which held the report. Winner was one of the six people and she was the only one with email contact with the news outlet that reported on the leak.
The leaked document is said to be able to provide detailed accounts of how Russian hackers went out of their way to hinder the election.
Winner’s mother, Billie Winner-Davis, described her as a “very passionate” person who was outspoken about her beliefs. “Very passionate about her views and things like that, but she’s never to my knowledge been active in politics or any of that,” Winner-Davis told The Daily Beast on Monday.
Appearing as a guest on the podcast, Intercept reporter Glenn Greenwald agreed, saying that while “it’s very possible” Russia was behind election-related hacks last year, “we still haven’t seen any evidence for it.” Little more than a week later, Winner allegedly used a Gmail account to contact The Intercept, and she “appeared to request transcripts of a podcast,” court documents said. More than a month later, the NSA secretly issued the classified document now at the center of the leak case. And within days, Winner allegedly found it, printed it out and mailed it to The Intercept.