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Accused NSA Leaker Reality Winner Seeks Release From Jail
Reality Leigh Winner should be released from jail pending her trial in the National Security Agency leak investigation because new information has surfaced that weakens the government’s case for keeping her behind bars, her attorneys are arguing in new court papers.
Winner, 25, the first accused leaker to be prosecuted by the Trump administration, is scheduled to ask for her release at a hearing in Augusta, Georgia, at 10 a.m. Friday. The former Air Force linguist has pleaded not guilty to a charge of leaking an NSA report about Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election to The Intercept, an online news publication. She worked as a federal contractor in Augusta.
In arguing for her to be kept in the Lincoln County Jail in Lincolnton, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Solari told a judge Winner was recorded in a jailhouse phone call discussing some “documents” — plural — raising concerns she might have gathered other top-secret information beyond the NSA report she is accused of leaking. Solari said she was also overheard directing the transfer of $30,000 from her savings account to her mother’s account because the court had taken away her free appointed counsel.
But in an email to Winner’s attorneys on June 29, Solari said Winner could be heard in the recording telling her mom she “leaked a document,” singular. And in another recorded phone call, Solari said, Winner asked her mom to transfer her money because of fears authorities “might freeze it.” Winner’s attorneys said she was afraid she would not be able to pay her bills if her account were frozen.
Reality WinnerFacebook photo
“I proffered information about the other jail calls based upon verbal summaries I was provided by the FBI just before the hearing,” Solari wrote. “Now that I have heard the recordings myself, I’d like to clarify some of the information for the court and counsel.”
In arguing for Winner’s continued detention on June 8, Solari also told a judge that Winner at one point improperly plugged a flash drive into a top-secret computer — in a sort of test run — while she was still in the Air Force last year. Winner’s attorneys pointed out she has not been charged with any additional crimes, though federal authorities have presumably completed their investigation of that incident.
Winner’s attorneys are also citing other cases in which accused leakers have been allowed to remain free pending their trials, including retired Gen. David Petraeus, who resigned as CIA director in 2012 before pleading guilty to a misdemeanor charge of mishandling classified materials. Further, Winner’s attorneys said, Winner has no prior criminal convictions, and she could be held behind bars far longer than the court had initially contemplated because her trial date has been postponed from Oct. 23 to March 19.
A spokesman for the federal prosecutors in the case did not immediately respond to a request for comment Sunday.
If the judge were to free Winner pending trial, her attorneys said, the court could require Winner to reside at her home in Augusta, not travel beyond Richmond County without permission, regularly keep in contact with a pretrial services officer and have her parents post their property as bond. She wants to return to teaching yoga and spin classes as well as volunteering in a local animal shelter, court records show.
Meanwhile, her attorneys are raising concerns about her health behind bars. They said Winner, who keeps a vegan diet, has developed “gastrointestinal issues” in the Lincoln County Jail.
“Ms. Winner’s continued detention,” her court filing says, “is manifestly unjust, contrary to law, and not in accordance with the presumption of liberty.”
©2017 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Atlanta, Ga.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
Just before 8 a.m. on a Sunday morning 78 years ago, Lauren Bruner was preparing for church services and a date that would follow with a girl he'd met outside his Navy base.
The 21-year-old sailor was stationed as a fire controlman aboard the U.S. battleship USS Arizona, overseeing the vessel's .50-caliber guns.
Then alarms rang out. A Japanese plane had bombed the ship in a surprise attack.
It took only nine minutes for the Arizona to sink after the first bomb hit. Bruner was struck by gunfire while trying to flee the inferno that consumed the ship, the second-to-last man to escape the explosion that killed 1,177, including his best friend; 335 survived.
More than 70% of Bruner's body was burned. He was hospitalized for weeks.
Now, nearly eight decades after that fateful day, Bruner's ashes will be delivered to the sea that cradled his fallen comrades, stored in an urn inside the battleship's wreckage.
Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Business Insider.
Joshua Kaleb Watson has been identified as one of the victims of a shooting at the Naval Air Station Pensacola, CBS News reported.
The 23-year-old Alabama native and Naval Academy graduate was named to the Academy's prestigious Commandant's and Dean's lists, and also competed on the rifle team, Alabama's WTVY reported.
NAS Pensacola shooter railed against the US and quoted Osama bin Laden online hours before the attack
PENSACOLA, Fla. (Reuters) - The Saudi airman accused of killing three people at a U.S. Navy base in Florida appeared to have posted criticism of U.S. wars and quoted slain al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden on social media hours before the shooting spree, according to a group that monitors online extremism.
Federal investigators have not disclosed any motive behind the attack, which unfolded at dawn on Friday when the Saudi national is said to have began firing a handgun inside a classroom at the Naval Air Station Pensacola.
NAS Pensacola shooter reportedly hosted a 'dinner party' to watch mass shooting videos the week before the attack
The Saudi military officer who shot and killed 3 people at Naval Air Station Pensacola on Friday reportedly hosted a "dinner party" the week before the attack "to watch videos of mass shootings," the Associated Press reports, citing an unnamed U.S. official.
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