Reality Winner, Accused NSA Leaker, To Enter Not Guilty Plea

Reuters/Larry DowningAn aerial view of the National Security Agency (NSA) headquarters in Ft. Russian hackers attacked at least one USA voting software supplier days before the 2016 presidential election, according to a classified NSA report leaked Monday, June 5, 2017, that suggests election-related hacking penetrated further into US voting systems than previously known.

But a United States judge at a hearing today will weigh the risks of freeing Reality Winner, a former air force linguist with an otherwise unblemished record, pending trial.

The 25-year-old USA government contractor has worked since February in Augusta, Georgia, for a federal agency that neither prosecutors nor her defense lawyer will name and where she had access to sensitive documents.

If convicted, victor could face up to 10 years in prison.

We know the Georgia woman accused of leaking classified NSA information to an online news outlet will stay in prison until trial.

Daniella Silva reported from NY.

While the charges do not name the publication, two US officials with knowledge of the case confirmed that victor was charged with leaking the NSA report to The Intercept.

On Nov. 9, 2016, while still with the Air Force, Winner used her work computer to google the question: "Do top secret computers know when a thumb drive is inserted?"

The incendiary remark was written in a journal found at Winner's home in Augusta, Ga. home, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Solari said, according to HuffPost.

Inks multi-year extension with Patriots
The Patriots are looking to get that situation all taken care of before Edelman can even sniff free agency. NFL Media reported early Thursday the Patriots and Edelman were moving toward a contract extension.

On Thursday, Winner's mother and stepfather described the young woman they knew, one who gave up a full scholarship to study engineering at Texas A&M to join the Air Force after graduating from high school. Her attorney maintains she is not a flight risk.

It does say, however, that Russian military intelligence attacked a USA voting software company and sent spear-phishing emails to more than 100 local election officials at the end of October or beginning of November. The information in them are arguably classified and she may have shared something that was damaging from a national security standpoint, she may not have. She's never run away from anything in her life.

The Department of Justice has said victor admitted to the accusations against her, but Nichols, told the Associated Press "if there is a confession, the government has not shown it to me".

"The government is scrapping and crawling to build a mountain out of a mole hill", Nichols said. Based on Winner's background, she appeared to be an unlikely suspect.

Her daughter called her Saturday to say she was in trouble. The prosecutor said that victor had a Tor browser on a computer.

They also said that she wanted to travel to Afghanistan and wrote jokingly about finding somewhere in Kurdistan, though there was no contention that she had sympathy for any extremist groups.

Winner, dressed in an orange jumpsuit with the word "Inmate" on the back, spoke very little to Judge Brian Epps.

The government has said that the alleged leaker, who they claimed said she would play the "pretty, white and cute" card during a jailhouse phone call, also admitted to her crime.

"The government is not in any way suggesting the defendant has become a jihadist or that she is a Taliban sympathizer", Solari told the judge.

  • Megan Austin