Justice Department Charges Leaker of Russian Hacking Report

Reality Leigh Winner / Twitter


The Justice Department has announced charges against Reality Leigh Winner, a government contractor who leaked an intelligence report to the Intercept.

According to a senior federal official, the 25-year-old contractor was the source of the leak, NBC News reports. The intelligence document itself details how Russian operatives attempted to hack voting machines just prior to the Nov. 8 election.

The report shows that software suppliers were targeted by Russian military intelligence, but it does not provide evidence that any votes were changed. The Intercept reported that the NSA analysis "does not draw conclusions bout whether the interference had any effect on the election’s outcome and concedes that much remains unknown about the extent of the hackers’ accomplishments."

The Justice Department announced Winner’s arrest and formal charges about an hour after the Intercept’s report. NBC News reported that charges were filed in Georgia, a state where the NSA has a major facility.

The charges against Winner include "gathering, transmitting or losing defense information." Heavy also reports that Winner’s social media accounts indicated that she strongly opposed President Donald Trump.

"I’m losing my mind. If you voted for this piece of shit, explain this," she wrote on Facebook, regarding Trump's statements on the Dakota Access Pipeline. She included the hashtags #NoDAPL, #NeverMyPresident and #Resist.

Winner’s lawyer told NBC News that she doesn’t have any criminal history and is "looking forward to putting this behind her."

Paul Crookston

Paul Crookston   Email Paul | Full Bio | RSS
Paul Crookston is the deputy war room director at the Washington Free Beacon. He was previously a Collegiate Network fellow at National Review. A 2016 graduate of Gordon College in Wenham, Mass., he served as the managing editor of the Tartan campus newspaper. He is originally from Tampa, Fla., but he still roots for Dad’s Ohio teams. His Twitter handle is @P_Crookston. He can be reached at crookston@freebeacon.com.

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