BUSTED: Government Contractor Arrested For Leaking Classified Information

Matt Vespa
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Posted: Jun 05, 2017 8:20 PM
BUSTED: Government Contractor Arrested For Leaking Classified Information

Earlier this evening, it was reported that the FBI arrested a woman over the weekend who is suspected of leaking classified information to The Intercept about Russian efforts to interfere in our election. The 25-year-old woman, Reality Leigh Winner, was a contractor for Pluribus International Corporation, who worked for a government agency based in Georgia, according to The Hill. She started working there in February, and the agency is suspected to be the NSA. Talking Points Memo says that the NSA's Cryptologic Center is based in the area.

The Department of Justice charged 25-year-old government contractor Reality Leigh Winner with sharing top secret material with a media outlet, prosecutors announced in a press release Monday.

Court documents filed by the government don't specify which media outlet received the materials allegedly leaked by Winner, but NBC News reported that the material went to the Intercept online news outlet.

The Intercept published a top secret NSA report Monday that alleged Russian military intelligence launched a 2016 cyberattack on a voting software company.

Details on the report published by The Intercept suggest that it was created on May 5, 2017 — the same day prosecutors say the materials Winner is charged with sharing were created.

[…]

Investigators were able to tell from a copy of the report provided by the unnamed media outlet that the report had been printed, according to court filings. A computer search revealed that Winner had had email contact with the media outlet, according to an FBI affidavit.

The way authorities could tell the documents were printed off was that the pages appeared to be creased or folded. Sean Davis of The Federalist noted that in the FBI affidavit, an audit of who accessed the classified report narrowed the suspect pool to six people, including Winner. Digging deeper, it became clear that Winner was the prime suspect when U.S. officials found that she was the only person of the six who had emailed The Intercept.

If convicted, Ms. Winner faces 10 years in prison.