Reality Winner, the former National Security Agency contractor jailed for leaking secrets about Russian hacking, has been sprung early from prison, her lawyer said Monday.
"I am thrilled to announce that Reality Winner has been released from prison," Alison Grinter Allen, her lawyer, said in a statement posted on Twitter.
Winner, 29, was sentenced to more than five years in prison in 2018 after she leaked classified information to The Intercept news outlet about Russia's attempts to hack the 2016 presidential election.
She pleaded guilty to leaking a classified report that detailed the Russian government's efforts to penetrate a Florida-based voting software supplier, NBC News reported at the time.
It was the longest sentence ever for for a federal crime involving leaks to the media at that time, the news outlet noted.
Her lawyers filed a petition for commutation with the Department of Justice in February 2020, NBC News reported, saying she’d "suffered enough" and called on then-President Donald Trump to "do the right thing."
On Monday, Allen said the former NSA translator was released for good behavior and is still in custody amid the "residential re-entry process."
Federal Bureau of Prisons records showed Winner was at a residential-reentry facility in San Antonio and that she was set to be released from the program on Nov. 23, Business Insider reported.
Federal authorities arrested Winner and charged her with Espionage Act violations after The Intercept published a report around Winner's leaked files in 2017.
An affidavit said The Intercept had sent a member of the federal government a copy of the report Winner provided. The copy showed the pages had been "folded and/or creased," meaning someone had printed it before removing it from a classified space, the affidavit said.
Investigators discovered that only six people in the agency had printed the report. They later found that Winner had not only printed it but had contact with The Intercept, BI noted.
"We are relieved and hopeful," Allen said in the Monday tweet. "Her release is not a product of the pardon or compassionate release process, but rather time earned from exemplary behavior while incarcerated."
While Trump did not commute Winner’s sentence, he did say on Twitter in 2018 her punishment was "so unfair."
"Gee, this is 'small potatoes' compared to what Hillary Clinton did," he had tweeted, NBC News reported.
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