Feds Charge Intel Contractor With Leaking Classified Doc To News Outlet

Reality Winner
|
June 5, 2017 6:12 p.m.

The FBI arrested a Georgia-based federal government contractor at her home this weekend, and on Monday announced she is being charged with “removing classified material from a government facility and mailing it to a news outlet.” The leaker is identified in the criminal complaint as 25-year-old Reality Leigh Winner, an employee of the contractor Pluribus International Corporation who held a top secret clearance. The Justice Department alleged that Winner admitted taking the classified intelligence document and mailing it to a news outlet.

Though the court document does not identify which agency she works for, it says she removed “classified national defense information” and was based in Augusta, Georgia, which is the site of an NSA “Cryptologic Center.”

Reports quickly emerged following the Justice Department’s issuance of a press release in the case that Winner is allegedly the source of a leaked NSA report published Monday afternoon by The Intercept documenting Russian military intelligence attempts to hack a U.S. voter registration software company and more than 100 local election officials. The NSA document is dated May 5, 2017, and the affidavit for Winner’s arrest alleges she “printed and improperly removed classified intelligence reporting, which contained classified national defense information and was dated on or about May 5, 2017.” The DOJ’s affidavit also cites “pages of the intelligence reporting [that] appeared to be folded and/or creased, suggesting they had been printed and hand-carried out of a secured space.” Creases of that nature are visible in the NSA document published by the Intercept.

A spokesperson for The Intercept told TPM that they have “no knowledge of the identity of the source” of the document because it was provided to them anonymously.

Newsletters
Get TPM in your inbox, twice weekly.
Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

TPM identified a Facebook account that appears to belong to Winner (pictured above) with check-ins in Augusta, Georgia and with pictures from a recent trip to Belize. The search warrant application filed with the U.S District Court for the Southern District of Georgia notes that “on May 27 to 29, 2017, WINNER traveled outside the United States to Belize.”

Read the affidavit by the FBI agent in the case, seeking a warrant for Winner’s arrest:

Latest Dc
Comments are now Members-Only

Non-members are still able to read comments, but will no longer be able to participate. To join the conversation, sign up now and get:

30% Off Annual Prime Membership

TPM strives to build as inclusive a community as financially possible. We offer FREE memberships to those experiencing financial hardship and FREE memberships for students.

View all options
Comments
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: