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May 19, 2019

Ex-NSA contractor Reality Winner to plead guilty in confidential leaks case

June 21, 2018
Reality Winner is a former Air Force linguist who was arrested last year for allegedly leaking classified documents. (Facebook)

Reality Winner, the NSA contractor accused of leaking secret documents to the news media about Russian election meddling, is slated to plead guilty next week, records show.

The former Air Force linguist, whose June 2017 arrest became a focal point in President Trump’s war on leaks, announced plans to change her plea in a court filing Thursday.

Details of her plea agreement were not immediately available in the court docket.

The 26-year-old was caught after investigators accused her of copying a top-secret document and then slipping it to an unidentified news organization. The Intercept published a report on Russian hackers targeting a voting software company ahead of the 2016 election on the same day Winner was arrested at her Augusta, Ga., home.

She obtained the documents while working at Pluribus International Corporation, court papers show.

She was charged with gathering, transmitting or losing defense information under the Espionage Act.

Social media posts from Winner revealed the contractor was at odds with Trump’s presidency, at one point referring to him as “the orange fascist.”

Winner’s mother, Billie Winner-Davis, was dismayed to learn her daughter was changing her plea, but felt the charges were too difficult to fight in court.

“I do know that she has always been ready and willing to accept responsibility for any wrongdoing, and that she will accept the consequences,” Winner-Davis told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Despite the charges, Winner’s mother said she is not “a traitor to her country.”

Winner, whose trial was set to begin Oct. 15, will formally change her plea in court Tuesday. She faces 10 years in prison and $250,000 in fines.

With News Wire Services

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