Augusta government contractor charged with leaking classified documents

Augusta government contractor charged with leaking classified documents
Reality Winner's mother speaks out before court

AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) - A federal contractor from Augusta has been charged with removing classified material from a government facility.

Twenty-five-year-old Reality Leigh Winner is a contractor with Pluribus International Corporation in Georgia. According to a criminal complaint filed in the Southern District of Georgia, Winner printed classified intelligence reporting from the facility where she worked on May 9. The printed document reportedly contained Top Secret national defense information. A few days later, she reportedly mailed the documents to an unidentified online news outlet.

"Exceptional law enforcement efforts allowed us quickly to identify and arrest the defendant," said Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein. "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."

An investigation identified Winner as a suspect and she was arrested at her home on June 3. While speaking with investigators, Winner admitted to printing the documents and mailing them to the news outlet, despite knowing it was illegal to do.

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