A Federal Contractor inside the NSA, named Reality Winner, has been arrested by DOJ agents his evening and charged with mishandling and leaking classified information to the Media.
The arrests come after the online news outlet The Intercept published details on a Top-Secret, Classified document from the NSA, detailing supposed Russian Interference and cyber attacks at least a week before the election. The article, written by four staff writers, also includes the redacted 5-page summary of the attacks.
The report was published around 4 p.m. today and went viral shortly afterward. The report, explicitly detailing how Russia used spear-phishing emails and other methods of infiltration, is still up as of 10 p.m. today, and has been seized by commentators from both sides, with some saying it is a great piece of investigative journalism, with others saying that the leaker should be arrested.
At around 6 p.m. tonight, news broke that DOJ agents had arrested a 25-year-old federal contractor who had worked for the NSA and had leaked documents to the press and had taken documents outside of Government premises. An FBI Affidavit documented that the FBI was informed about the removal of the documents on June 1st, an FBI agent visited Winner’s home in Augusta, Georgia on Saturday, in which she admitted to removing and illegally transmitting Government documents.
Shortly after the posting of the article, the Arrest warrant was executed. Winner is now reportedly facing charges under the Espionage Act, especially violating 18 U.S. Code § 798 – Disclosure of classified information. Penalties under the Espionage Act include a fine of up to $500,000 and a lengthy imprisonment term for stealing; illegally transmitting and disclosing classified info.
Reality Winner’s Facebook page is still up, and is being bombarded with memes; vulgar comments; and some death threats. The page is likely to be taken down shortly. Winner is also alleged to be a Bernie Sander’s supporter who has a despise for Trump, which could be a likely motive in leaking this info to the press.
The arrest comes on the heels of a turbulent and trying 4 and a half months for Trump, including leaks and disclosure of sensitive information. Trump has hinted at bringing down the gavel on the leakers as soon as possible.
The arrest also comes as multiple independent news outlets, such as Breitbart, reported 2 weeks ago that Trump was preparing to fire or order arrests on the leakers, ads they had been named and a list had been given to the Office of Government Ethics.
It is not known at this time if any more arrests or firings will take place as the Leaks continue to intensify. Emails sent to the authors of the article in question have not been returned or have been refused.
UPDATE (11 p.m.)
Wikileaks has now offered $10,000 reward for information leading to “public exposure and termination” of Intercept reporter who received the classified info and ordered the information to be released against Federal law.