BUSTED: Government Contractor Arrested For Leaking Classified Information

from – Townhall.com – by Matt Vespa

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.

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49 Comments on "BUSTED: Government Contractor Arrested For Leaking Classified Information"

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My comments to your previous article, from June 5, 2017, entitled “Contractor Charged in Leak” applies to this duplicate article on the same subject as well. So here it is: There are a lot more (at least a few thousand) just like her with access to classified information still in their positions within the federal government. Ideological Progressives (Socialists or Communists in their beliefs), who firmly believe the United States is the root cause of everything bad in the world and that the best course of action is to try and bring this nation down. Thus ridding the world of the last bastion of true freedoms and allowing the One World order to move forward unimpeded. So this is their way of contributing to the cause. They all must be systematically rooted out, put on trial, found guilty of the crimes they have committed and then sentenced to decades-long prison… Read more »

I wholeheartedly agree PaulE only I say No Trial, just take them out and publicly execute them. Why should there be a trial at taxpayer expense when the are caught red handed committing Treason? … a little harsh maybe, but the message needs to be delivered!

Hi Rik, We still live in a nation of laws and due process even though the left is trying at every opportunity to change that to “rule by mob” or to be even more blunt “rule by ignorant mob”. So as long as we do live by the rule of law in this country, there is nothing wrong with putting such criminals such as Miss Winner on trial. In her case, the trial would likely last less than a week with the degree of evidence that has been documented publicly against her. So the cost would be truly minimal, but have great PR value. It would also be useful to televise the trial (not that CBS, NBC or ABC would cover it as they are already trying to paint Miss Winner as an heroic figure out to save the world from evil Republicans, but a few cable networks here in… Read more »


The root words of democracy from Greek are demo, meaning mob, and cracy, meaning rule.

Fortunately, this country is NOT a democracy. It is a Constitutional Republic, a fact that our modern day politicians seem to have forgotten.

Which is why the Democrats constantly refer to us being a democracy instead of the constitutional representative republic we actually are. Even most TV news hosts and guests have hopped on that bandwagon. Some because they are too ignorant to know any better, but most because they actually are Progressives (Socialists) and are more than happy to be part of the misinformation campaign. They hope by continuing to mis-define what this country actually is at every opportunity, that the general public, which is getting more and more functionally illiterate with respect to history, science and other vital subjects with each passing year, will more easily accept the transition they seek to impose on us of a democracy based on socialism. After all, if the majority of the public believes we are a democracy instead of a republic, then it is a simple matter to convince a public that already views… Read more »

Which is why our founders gave us a Republic.

… if we can keep it.

that seems to be the most difficult part. God bless America.

In case you forgot do not have a Democracy

Benjamin Franklin (1706–90)
“Well, Doctor, what have we got—a Republic or a Monarchy?”
His answer
“A Republic, if you can keep it.”
Thanks to the Rino’s and Democrats we are losing our Republic

I agree with all of what you say PaulE. I would like to add, however, that in this country someone charged with a crime is supposed to be innocent until FOUND guilty. Sometimes we seem to forget that. In Winner’s case, time will tell.

You are correct, Rik. This act is both treasonous and espionage. Both offenses are punishable by death.

Absolutely right, PaulE. Definitely they need to be in jail along with their “sponsors” in treason, whether it be Obama, Schumer, Clinton (both of them) or Soros. Treason is treason, regardless of the power, authority and wealth of the person behind it

Daniel, you have mentioned 4 very dangerous people. Jail ’em. And obama (lower case deliberate) has purchased a home in DC…for over 8 million…I can’t even write all the zeroes, I’ll get dizzy. Brings to my mind an old Mel Brooks movie, where he says, “It’s good to be the King.” because he gets away with committing evil actions. It’s good to be the President, too.

I disagree, Paul. This is a non-conventional war we are fighting. She should be held in a prisoner of war detention camp until the conflict is over. This might become a life sentence.

ok then, lets send her to Gitmo, especially since she’s pro-Iran.

Even better. LOL

So no trial and make her a martyr to the left. Which is what the mainstream media will quickly spin this into. They will say she is being held indefinitely without a trial, her constitutional rights violated and that this is proof that 1) Trump is unfit for office. 2) The Republicans are evil and this imprisonment without a trial proves it and 3) The country needs to put Democrats back in charge of both houses of Congress in 2018, so Trump can be impeached in 2019, Which would then, with the mainstream media beating the drums 24×7 against what is left of Pence’s term to 4) a Progressive Democrat being sworn into the WH in January 2021 to “restore democracy”.

lOL…I love it!

Don’t you think she’s just the fall-guy? She got her “orders” from somebody, no?

No. She is responsible for her own actions. She made a conscience choice to violate multiple federal laws associated with the handling of classified data. The consequences of which are clearly spelled out to everyone who gets approved for any of the various levels of our federal government’s security clearance levels. These guidelines and consequences are clearly spelled to you as part of the process. Both verbally and in written form. I should know, as I previously held security clearance on a former job. We really need to get away from this mentality that “it wasn’t her fault”. That somehow she is some poor victim in all this. That she was somehow “forced” to break the law by both mishandling classified information and then handing that classified information to a third party. In this case the third-party was a left-wing Internet propaganda site aligned with the socialist values she held… Read more »

But she IS a victim, … a victim of her OWN STUPIDITY!!! … Again, as an example to ALL the others, the penalty should be the HARSHEST UNDER THE LAW! … No exception just because she is female.

Agreed! Based on what she has been charged with, that is 10 years in a federal prison according to the sentencing guidelines for those specific charges.

It’s possible that the prior administration, the new Democrats/Progressives, and the hopeful for the job won by Trump are an influence – after all, they feel it’s appropriate to blame everything on someone or something else but to take credit for anything good.

I notice her father (whom I don’t blame to try to make excuses for his feckless daughter) pointed out that she had served in the Air Force. Actually, that only makes it worse. As an Air Force veteran I can assure you that she was subject to several indoctrination briefings emphasizing the importance of safeguarding classified information and the consequences of mishandling it or passing it on to people who had no need to know. She did what she did with full knowledge of what would happen if she was caught. Prosecute her to the full extent of the law so others who might be tempted to do the same thing will think twice before acting.

What this story doesn’t specify and the “liberal” news never brings up is that this woman is a Bernie Sanders devotee and a President Trump hater.

We need to take these leaks very serious and make an example out of this Snow Flak! The brain washes youth from US Colleges need to feel the full extent of the law to understand actions against the US Government are serious and punishable by the law!

What ever happened to the firing squads for traitors?

Ex employee of CNN. The face of CNN. She was trained well to hate.

I dont get it. I had a top secret clearance (even higher) when I was in the Marine Corps. The last thing in the world I would have done is speak to anyone about anything. And I mean anything! Straight to levenworth, thats it. Whats wrong with people? What part of keeping your mouth shut could she possibly been thinking? Geez, why doesnt anyone have any sense nowadays, permissive society in which we live.

That’s Political Correctness for you….whoever thought that up, knew what he or she was doing. Abolish PC now.

10 yr. sentence for spying? Are you kidding? What happened to the death penalty if found guilty. The Rosenbergs would come back from thier grave. They both were executed for spying on the U.S, thier own country.

Treason is the worst crime.

So much for a small fry bait fish.
How about going up the food chain and getting some sharks and orcas ?
I’ll bet there are a few swimming around inside the I495 DC Beltway swamp.

How did a 25yr old, though a veteran , was given clearance for high profile memos when only on the job a few months?

I have argued in other places before that there are multiple reasons for punishing criminals. The primary one above all others is deterring others from being tempted to commit the same crime. Simply making the punishment not worth the risk of being caught, Toward that end, this twit should have the book thrown at her. She should face the maximum prison time in a very nasty place. She has shown no remorse and the left is already making her a poster child for left-wing resistance/rebellion against any conservative policies that delay the left’s march to anti-American socialism. So make an example of her. Lock her up for a long time. Sometimes I think it’s too bad we don’t have a Devil’s Island. Last, I have also said that every single holdover hired from the Obama administration should be fired. Perhaps suspending all security clearances for all federal employees/contractors might be… Read more »
Exactly the point I was trying to make, but it seems some folks prefer the third-world banana republic view of “mob justice” instead. Which Make a very overt example of her during the trial and subsequent prison sentencing. A clear example of what will, NOT MAY BUT WILL, happen to anyone else who does the same thing. Too many of the left have gotten way too comfortable after 8 years of Obama and the double standard of the left NEVER being prosecuted for anything they did illegally during that time. Send a clear message, especially to Millennials that there will be real-world consequences for breaking the law. One’s personal beliefs in their view of social justice or whatever other delusional rationale these snowflakes cling to, will not exempt them from the rule of law. These snowflakes are NOT a hardy bunch and the prospect of spending years in a typical… Read more »

Excellent post.

Agree with you.

Don’t they take an oath when hired? Don’t they also have new hires sign a document stating they have been informed of the penalties for mishandling classified material? She only went to work there in February and the materials were compromised on May 5. It didn’t take her long to find something to “leak.” So, the oath and the warning should have been fresh on her mind. But, perhaps her purpose in getting hired was to get access to classified material that she could “leak.” As we have learned from certain other “liberals”, lies, tricks, sellouts, are all considered a justified means to an end. A sentence of 10 years is not enough. People that I served with and went to school with gave their lives for this country, we don’t need traitors coming along to undo what we have tried to preserve for the next generation(s).
Yes, when you go through the whole process to be granted top secret or above security clearance, you are both informed verbally and in writing as to what this level of clearance entails related to the handling and discussing of any and all classified documents you may come in contact with. The FBI does a background screening of the individual going all the way to your childhood and interviews dozens of people you have been in contact with or interacted with over all those years. Depending in the level of clearance a person is up for, the process can take a few months to complete. They are supposed to go through all your records, your social media postings, former employers, former and current associates, family, friends, etc. In short, look for anything and everything that may indicate you pose a security threat should be granted the clearance level you are… Read more »

Perhaps the looseness in vetting is a result of “political correctness” as she’s a woman and a vet. What a crock!

When I was growing up, it was execute people guilty of treason. No ifs, ands or buts

Reality Winner? Is that her real name? I don’t know what world of reality she thinks she’s living in, but it turns out she could be a big looser — about 10 years worth!

Reality winner is now reality loser.

Let’s forget about the left wingers or the right wingers. Should this document have been classified as top secret? Are the sheeple too ignorant to handle the truth? The Russians had nothing to do with Trump winning, it was Hillary being Hillary. Would the Russians rather have Trump win? I’m sure they did, and as an intelligent independent voter, I can handle that truth. She should be convicted and get a slap on the wrist for appearance sake, but she should not be made an example of.
And by the way, has anyone noticed all the press about Russian hackers doesn’t mention “government” hackers? We have individual hackers in this country that have no affiliation with our government, as does every other country. We need to wake up and identify the difference between reality and agenda-driven hype.

Well, the “unbiased” media did go bonkers recently over the fake story of Trump giving classified information to the Russians, so leaking information must be serious. BTW, the Russians wanted Hitlery to win because she, as well as the democratic party, already gave into them many times before.

A slap on the wrist for appearance sake…she should not be made and example of????? Why? She ain’t no delicate flower!