A young woman named Reality Winner may be about to become a huge loser in federal court.
Who’s Reality Winner? Well, aside from someone who should sue her parents for poor naming skills, she’s a former federal contractor who stands accused of leaking confidential information to the media. She’s also the first individual to be charged in the Trump administration’s hunt individuals who have leaked sensitive information to the press.
According to a news release from the Department of Justice, “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.
“Winner further admitted removing the classified intelligence reporting from her office space, retaining it, and mailing it from Augusta, Georgia, to the news outlet, which she knew was not authorized to receive or possess the documents.”
According to NBC News, Winner — a 25-year-old employee of contractor Pluribus International Corporation — had leaked a document involving possible Russian efforts to hack electronic voting systems in the United States.
“On or about May 9, Winner printed and improperly removed classified intelligence reporting, which contained classified national defense information from an intelligence community agency, and unlawfully retained it,” the Justice Department release read. “Approximately a few days later, Winner unlawfully transmitted by mail the intelligence reporting to an online news outlet.”
And, according to TheBlaze, she was all undone by a crease in the paper. When the news outlet that she mailed the document to, The Intercept, shared it with the NSA while seeking the agency’s comment for a story, investigators noticed that the paper had been folded, leading them to believe it had been printed and removed from the secure location.
Since Winner was one of only six people to have viewed the document since it was published internally and was determined to have printed it out, FBI agents zeroed in on her. She was arrested on Saturday and is charged with a single count of “gathering, transmitting or losing defense information.”
According to The Daily Caller, Winner’s Facebook page reveals a supporter of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders who once called the president a “piece of s***” and describes herself as a member of “the resistance.” On a Twitter account linked to Winner, she also tweeted to Kanye West that he “should make a shirt that says, ‘being white is terrorism.’”
Winner’s attorney told NBC News that his client is “looking forward to putting this behind her.” Unfortunately, this isn’t a traffic ticket or a drunk-and-disorderly misdemeanor on New Year’s Eve.
If the charges are true, Winner is the first government leaker to have been definitively identified in the Trump administration, and that could mean she’s going to be spending a not-insignificant amount of time behind bars. On the plus side, at least her fellow inmates will get a good chuckle out of the name “Reality Winner.”
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Source: Conservative Tribune