Reality Winner, aged 25, of Augusta, Georgia, and a National Security Agency contractor at Pluribus International, is the first casualty in the Trump Administration’s promised war on leakers. Winner was arrested over the weekend after telling a Federal Bureau of Investigations agent that she was the one who leaked top secret documents to an online news organization, the Justice Department announced Monday.
The report came just hours after The Intercept had released several top secret NSA documents revealing that Russian computer hackers had attempted to compromise a U.S. voting software company and over a hundred local election officials during the election last fall. The Intercept claimed in a statement that it “has no knowledge of the identity of the source.”
Well it appears that we know now.
Election Whistleblower Was A Bernie Sanders Supporter
The Daily Caller is reporting that Reality Leigh Winner, the 25-year-old woman who removed “Top Secret” documents from the National Security Agency at her work, Pluribus International, and disclosed them to Glenn Greenald’s website, The Intercept, seems to be an avid Bernie Sanders supporter and a follower of other progressive voices, such as HBO’s Bill Maher and documentary filmmaker Michael Moore.
The apparent record of Reality Leigh Winner’s social media postings also indicates that the defense contractor is a supporter of many progressive and anti-Trump causes, including: the Women’s March on Washington D.C. and the Islamic Society of North America, a Muslim civil rights group.
Winner has also recently publicly referred to President Donald Trump as a “piece of s**t” in response to his position regarding the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) protests.
In a Feb. 9 Facebook post, Winner posted this about Donald Trump and the Pipeline:
“You have got to be s**tting me right now. No one has called? The White House shut down their phone lines. There have been protests for months, at both the drilling site and and outside the White House. I’m losing my mind. If you voted for this piece of s**t, explain this. He’s lying. He’s blatantly lying and the second largest supply of freshwater in the country is now at risk. #NoDAPL #NeverMyPresident #Resist.”
News of her arrest for the leak of classified NSA documents broke Monday after Winner was indicted in a federal court for stealing and off-siting sensitive classified documents from her employer, Pluribus International, a defense contractor that works for the National Security Agency from its offices in Augusta, Ga.
When confronted with the crime Winner confessed to FBI investigators that she stole the leaked NSA documents and disclosed them to the online news website The Intercept. The news site updated with an article on Monday just hours before the announcement of Winner’s arrest, that appears to exactly match the stolen NSA docs. The top secret government records indicate that Russian cyber agents attempted to hack into U.S. voting systems to affect the outcome of the November election.
Patrick Toomey, a lawyer for the ACLU’s National Security Project, called the arrest a cause for concern:
“Leaks to journalists occur every day, as they have for decades, and are a vital source of information for the public in our democracy. It would be deeply troubling if this prosecution marked the beginning of a draconian crackdown on leaks to the press by the Trump administration.”