USA contractor arrested after leak of Russian Federation hacking report

USA contractor arrested after leak of Russian Federation hacking report

Winner, a 25-year-old national government contractor based out of Augusta, Ga., was charged Monday with sending a classified report about Russia's interference in the 2016 election to a reporter at The Intercept.

Reality Winner faces a detention hearing Thursday in federal court in Augusta, Georgia, so that a judge can determine whether to grant bond for the 25-year-old woman.

Reality Winner was taken into custody in Augusta last weekend by federal marshals and charged with mailing classified information to a news organization - the online news organization, The Intercept.

Reality Winner, the government contractor accused of leaking a secret NSA report to the media, plans to enter a plea of not guilty, her lawyer Titus Nichols tells NPR. Prosecutors did not say which federal agency victor worked for, but FBI agent Justin Garrick said in an affidavit filed with the court that she had previously served in the Air Force and held a top-secret security clearance.

Victor was arrested on Saturday after investigators connected her to a leak of highly classified intelligence regarding Russian interference in the US Elections.

The document, according to The Intercept, said Russian military intelligence "executed cyber espionage operations against a named United States company in August 2016 evidently to obtain information on elections-related software and hardware solutions, according to information that became available in April 2017". The outlet said in a statement Monday that it doesn't know its source's identity, but the government has told news outlets it was victor.

She is accused of leaking classified information, used as the basis for an article published Monday by The Intercept, detailing a classified National Security Agency memo.

"I think she's trying to be courageous for me". Victor did not enter a plea in her initial appearance Monday. "She serves her community; she served her country".

According to the criminal complaint, victor admitted to printing the document with the knowledge that it was classified information as well as mailing it to the news outlet.


In this highly digital world officials say it was a crease in a piece of paper that ultimately led the Federal Bureau of Investigation to accused leaker Reality Winner.

Billie Winner-Davis (left, with husband Gary) said that she was stunned by the charges against her daughter.

. "She doesn't deserve that", Winner's mother told WSB-TV.

"I just know she cares about her world and taking care of people and animals", Winner-Davis said.

Victor had top security clearance from her time serving in the Air Force for six years.

The attorney added that federal agents were examining whether victor may have allegedly stolen other classified information while working with the NSA.

Her mother, Billie Winner-Davis, told HuffPost before the court appearance Thursday she remains skeptical of the FBI's version of events. "I would think someone who is trying to do this in a more espionage type, I am going to be spy capacity would take more caution in trying to cover their tracks", said McCrillis.

"Yes, she reached out to The Intercept twice on her personal time on her personal computer", Winner-Davis said.

Asked if victor had confessed, Nichols said, "If there is a confession, the government has not shown it to me".

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