A 25-year-old federal contractor has been charged with leaking a classified document to a news organization just as The Intercept published a top-secret report on Russian attempts to hack into the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
Reality Leigh Winner of Augusta, Georgia, was arrested Saturday, and appeared in court Monday, the Washington Examiner reported.
The U.S. Justice Department did not say whether Winner was charged with leaking the document to The Intercept, but its announcement of her arrest came about an hour after the Intercept published its story. The DOJ also said the report Winner released was dated May 5, the same date on the report received by The Intercept.
"The U.S. Government Agency examined the document shared by the news outlet and determined the pages of the intelligence reporting appeared to be folded and/or creased, suggesting they had been printed and hand-carried out of a secured space," according to the DOJ affidavit.
Winner was found to be one of six people at federal contractor Pluribus International Corporation who had printed out the document and the only one of those six who had contacted a news organization by email.
"Winner further acknowledged that she was aware of the contents of the intelligence reporting and that she knew the contents of the reporting could be used to the injury of the United States and to the advantage of a foreign nation," according to the affidavit. "Winner admitted intentionally identifying and printing the classified intelligence reporting at issue despite not having a 'need to know,' and with knowledge that the intelligence reporting was classified."
Winner received top secret security clearance when hired by Pluribus on Feb. 13.
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