On Thursday, 25-year-old intelligence contractor Reality Winner pleaded not guilty to a single charge in relation to her alleged leak of a classified National Security Agency report to the online news outlet, the Intercept. The leaked memo outlined new information on the agency’s assessment of Russian attempts at election meddling. Winner was arrested over the weekend, but denied bail Thursday ahead of a trial that could carry a 10-year prison sentence.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Solari laid out some of the details of the U.S. government’s case against Winner and provided new insight into the alleged leak. From NBC News:
Solari said in court that Winner admitted she had leaked the top secret document “to a particular news agency she admired”—and said “she was underwhelmed with what Wikileaks had to offer.” “She couldn’t understand why this document hadn’t been leaked already,” Solari said.
Prosecutors also said that during a recorded phone conversation with her mother, Winner said, “Mom, those documents. I screwed up.” Solari stressed that Winner referred to “documents” in the plural, and that federal agents were looking to see whether she may have stolen other classified information. Prosecutors added that Winner allegedly had access to the dark web and had set up burner email accounts.
Solari said Winner had searched online to find out whether or not top secret computers detected when flash drives were inserted in them. The government alleges that Winner did just that—insert a flash drive into a top secret computer while she worked in the Air Force. The drive, or any information that was downloaded, has not been located… Agents found two notebooks in Winner’s home, according to the prosecution. In one, prosecutors allege that she wrote, “I want to burn the White House down.” On a page in one of the notebooks, prosecutors said, she listed the names of several Taliban and al Qaeda leaders, including Osama Bin Laden.
“She would undoubtedly be a target of recruitment from our adversaries,” Solari told the judge.