Reality Leigh Winner - Government Leaker Arrested
Another government contractor was arrested over the weekend for leaking NSA documents to a leftist website called The Intercept. Many people in the media are already calling this arrest the first of many “deep-state” government employees who are trying to sabotage the Trump administration from within. Reality Leigh Winner, a 25-year old linguist with PIC (Pluribus International Corporation) was taken into custody for Gathering, Transmitting, or Losing Defense Information. According to the official report, Winner obtained a National Security Agency report on Russian Election hacking, printed that report, smuggled it out of a secure facility, and finally transmitted it to a news site early in May of 2017.
How She Was Caught
Winner wasn’t caught at the time of the theft, but when the news outlet she leaked the information to called the intelligence agency asking for comments on May 30th. The NSA then quickly enlisted the FBI, to find the leaker of the classified material. After discovering that the report had been accessed 6 times, the agency was easily able to identify her as the culprit. She was the only one who accessed the report with no “need to know.” Reality Winner was arrested on Saturday June 3rrd and was arraigned in Federal Court under 18 U.S.C. 793. The crimes which she is being charged with carry a penalty of up to 10 years in Federal prison per count.
What We Know About Her
Reality Leigh Winner is anti-Trump, an environmentalist, held a top-secret security clearance, spoke multiple languages, and has a colorful social-media presence in which she makes no secrets about her beliefs of being part of “the resistance.” She was formerly in the Air Force, raised in Texas, and was working at PIC since February as a linguist; speaks Farsi, Pashto and Dari.
Reality Winners is known on Twitter as Sara Winners, where she actively posted about her admiration for other government leakers such as Eric Snowden. She was also aggressive in her opinions about the environment and her beliefs that the Trump administration would work against environmental causes. She appeared to be a Bernie Sanders supporter and also behind several other liberal causes including the Women’s March and several Muslim oriented organizations. Her motivations for the data theft are still being kept under wraps by the justice department.