The Georgia government contractor in Georgia, who works for Pluribus International Corp, was arrested by FBI at her home this weekend. She was able to access the information due to her top secret security clearance.
Reality Winner, arrested for alleged classified leak, is a former US Air Force linguist who speaks Pashto, Farsi & Dari, her mother tells me pic.twitter.com/SQjt13wRw6
— Jon Swaine (@jonswaine) June 5, 2017
The Intercept published a story Monday on a highly classified May 5 intelligence report the outlet had received anonymously that “analyzes intelligence very recently acquired by the agency about a months-long Russian intelligence cyber effort against elements of the U.S. election and voting infrastructure.”
Washington D.C. is slowing starting to reek of sweet justice.
The charges against Reality Leigh Winner came about an hour after the publication of a story based on an NSA document detailing Russian attempts to hack American voting systems in 2016.
President Trump has been pushing Justice to go after leakers inside the federal government, which he has identified as “the big story” when it comes to Russia’s involvement in the 2016 presidential election. Winner’s arrest could signal the federal government is going to aggressively investigate and prosecute individuals who send classified intelligence to news organizations.
Trump and other Republican allies in Washington have made pursuing leakers one of their top priorities, but Winner is the first to face charges for releasing classified intelligence.
According to HuffPost, the NSA figured out it was Winner when they conducted an internal audit. From the audit they determined that the report had been printed by six people. Then when they audited the competes of those six desktop computers, they found that only Winner “had email contact” with the news outlet.
Winner, who had worked for Pluribus since February, reportedly admitted to government agents Saturday that she had printed the report, removed it from her office and mailed it to the news outlet from Augusta. Winner also allegedly “acknowledged that she was aware of the contents of the intelligence reporting and that she knew the contents of the reporting could be used to the injury of the United States and to the advantage of a foreign nation,” the FBI affidavit said.
DOJ’s Rod Rosenstein stated, “Exceptional law enforcement efforts allowed us quickly to identify and arrest the defendant,” he continued, “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.”
Boom. One by one, we will plug all the leaks. No more will America sink!
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