Thursday, 18 October, 2018

Prosecutors: Contractor wanted to 'burn the White House down'

Prosecutors: Contractor wanted to 'burn the White House down' Prosecutors: Contractor wanted to 'burn the White House down'
Roland Mccarthy | 09 June, 2017, 09:03

Mugshot of Reality Winner, who is being held at Lincoln County Jail in Georgia. Prosecutors don't think victor is a jihadist or terrorist sympathizer, they say that before she left the military, she inserted an external hard drive into a top-secret computer there.

Reality Winner, the government contractor accused of leaking a secret NSA report to the media, plans to enter a plea of not guilty, her lawyer Titus Nichols tells NPR.

The 25-year-old federal contractor was charged with leaking information regarding a 2016 Russian military intelligence cyberattack to The Intercept, an online news outlet.

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

Court records show the Federal Bureau of Investigation visited Reality Leigh Winner's home Saturday and took her passport, some mail, a pair of spiralbound notebooks, two piece of notebook paper with handwritten notes, a power bill, a Department of Defense-issued "country handbook" about Iran, a nondisclosure agreement, a cell phone, two laptop computers and a tablet computer.

Victor remained locked up Tuesday on federal charges that she made copies of classified documents containing top-secret material and mailed them to an online news organization.

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.

An attorney for victor said she intends to plead not guilty, NBC News reported on Wednesday. Victor had a short court appearance Tuesday and was being held at a jail northwest of Augusta, Georgia.

Winner's mother, Billie Winner-Davis, told the court her daughter had never been in any trouble and was at the top of her class throughout her school days.

"She's not a flight risk", said Gary Davis, Winner's stepfather.

President Donald Trump has repeatedly denounced unauthorized disclosures to the media, and now he has his first opportunity to make an example of someone who, according to the Justice Department, admitted to giving a top-secret National Security Agency report to a news organization. "It's a rule that you don't ask", Winner's mother said.

Victor spent much of that six year career as an air force linguist in Maryland. She wrote, "I want to burn the White House down". Solari alleged that in recorded phone calls to her sister from the detention center, victor planned how to defend herself.

A 25-year-old government contractor for a US intelligence agency has been charged with sending classified material on Russian hacking to an online news outlet last month.

"My client has no (criminal) history, so it's not as if she has a pattern of having done anything like this before", Nichols said in a phone interview Monday.

"She's got a good heart", Winner-Davis said. O'Donnell later confirmed that she had donated by tweeting out a link to the GoFundMe account and writing, "I support reality victor".

She's an Air Force veteran and works for a defense contractor. "She's a patriot", Davis said.

"If she made this mistake", Davis said, referring to the leaked documents, "it needs to be balanced against what she has done in the past and how she has served this country".

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