On Monday, the Department of Justice charged a young female contractor from Augusta, Georgia, with removing classified material from a government facility and mailing it to a news outlet.
Reality Leigh Winner, 25, was arrested by the FBI at her home on Saturday, June 3.
Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein stated, “Exceptional law enforcement efforts allowed us quickly to identify and arrest the defendant. Releasing classified material without authorization threatens our nation’s security and undermines public faith in government. People who are trusted with classified information and pledge to protect it must be held accountable when they violate that obligation.”
The criminal complaint alleges that Winner, a contractor with Pluribus International Corporation, was employed at a U.S. government agency facility in Georgia since roughly February 13, and held a Top Secret clearance. Some time around May 9, Winner printed and improperly removed classified intelligence reporting, which contained classified national defense information from an intelligence community agency, illegally kept it, then illegally transmitted the intelligence reporting to an online news outlet.
Winner admitted to the FBI that she had intentionally identified and printed the classified intelligence reporting despite not having a "need to know," and knowing that the intelligence reporting was classified. Winner also admitted taking the document and mailing it from Augusta, Georgia, to the news outlet, which she was aware was not authorized to receive or possess the documents.