Contractor charged with leaking classified information to media
A 25-year-old federal contractor was criminally charged Monday in connection with leaking classified information to a news organization — marking the first leak prosecution under the Trump administration.
Reality Leigh Winner, of Augusta, Georgia, was arrested over the weekend after prosecutors said she printed a copy of a classified report and mailed it to an online news outlet, the Justice Department announced Monday.
A criminal complaint filed in the case does not identify the outlet or describe the type of information leaked. But the details of the case appear to correspond to information included in an article published Monday afternoon by the Intercept. The article relies on an anonymously-provided National Security Agency document to detail Russian attempts to hack U.S. voting systems in the days before the 2016 presidential election.
According to the Justice Department, Ms. Winner is a contractor with Pluribus International Corporation and held top secret security clearance. She began working at the government facility from which the classified document was taken in February.
Authorities said she printed the classified document that was taken on May 9 and later mailed it to a news organization.
Leaks have plagued the Trump administration in its first few months, and included everything from details about intercepted phone calls between former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and a Russian diplomat to the name of the man who detonated a suicide bomb outside a Manchester, England pop concert.
But the charges against Ms. Winner mark the first leak prosecution under the administration.
Confronted by investigators over the weekend, authorities said Ms. Winner admitted to printing the document and providing it to a news outlet.
Reality Leigh Winner