WASHINGTON, D.C. — An NSA contractor accused of leaking a “top secret” level classified report on Russia to online news agency “The Intercept” has been identified as 25-year-old Reality Leigh Winner.
Winner, who worked for Pluribus International Corporation at a government facility in Georgia, is the first to be charged in connection with a series of leaks that have rocked the administration in recent months.
In the criminal complaint filed against Winner (https://www.justice.gov/opa/press-release/file/971331/download), the Justice Department alleged that Winner admitted to printing a classified intelligence document without authorization and with knowledge the report was classified. The complaint further alleges that Winner admitted removing the report from her office space and mailing it to the news outlet.
Not shy in her hatred toward Trump, Winner made her feelings toward the president clear on social media in the months leading up to her arrest.
During one particular rant during which she spoke out against the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines (which president Trump has recently ordered revived), Winner wrote on her Facebook page:
“Repeat after me: In the United States of America, in the year 2017, access to clean, fresh, water is not a right, but a privilege based off one’s socio-economic status. If that didn’t feel good to say aloud, contact your senators today and tell them those exact words as to why the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines cannot be built on American soil. Let’s fix the pipes meant to bring water, sans lead or pollutants, to our citizens before we build pipes meant to benefit big oil and poison the land. #NoDAPL.”
In a statement on Monday, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said of the criminal complaint failed against Winner,”“Exceptional law enforcement efforts allowed us to quickly identify and arrest the defendant. Releasing classified material without authorization threatens our nation’s security and undermines public faith in government.”
“People who are trusted with classified information and pledge to protect it must be held accountable when they violate that obligation,” Rosenstein added.
The Intercept on Tuesday released a statement saying they did not know the identity of the person who provided them with the classified documents (https://theintercept.com/2017/06/06/statement-on-justice-department-allegations/).
“While the FBI’s allegations against Winner have been made public through the release of an affidavit and search warrant, which were unsealed at the government’s request, it is important to keep in mind that these documents contain unproven assertions and speculation designed to serve the government’s agenda and as such warrant skepticism,” the statement reads. “Winner faces allegations that have not been proven. The same is true of the FBI’s claims about how it came to arrest Winner.”