Reality Leigh Winner: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know



A 25-year-old federal contract worker from Augusta, Georgia has been charged by the Department of Justice for taking Top Secret materials and mailing it to a news outlet.

Reality Leigh Winner was arrested by the F.B.I. on June 3 and appeared in federal court in Augusta on June 5. She was charged with gathering, transmitting or losing defense information that could have been damaging to the U.S.

Here’s what you need to know:

1. Winner Is a Former Member of the Military & Worked for a Government Contractor


Winner was an employee at Pluribus International Corporation and was assigned to a government agency in Georgia. She’s was employed at the facility since February 13 and held a Top Secret security clearance since then. Pluribus is an analytical and engineering service that provides its services to federal, defense, security and the intelligence community.

Prior to working for Pluribus, she was an active duty member of the U.S. Air Force.

2. A Search Warrant Said the F.B.I. Was Tipped off by a Podcast


According to a search warrant obtained by Heavy, a special agent with the F.B.I. received information that Winner possessed and willfully sent information to that could result in damage to national security. They received the tip from the news outlet on June 1 saying that they may have had classified information. The reporting was published May 5.

After launching an investigation, they found that Winner was one of six people with access to the document on her computer, and found out that she had email contact with the news outlet on around March 30 with her personal email account.

In that email, Winner had asked for transcripts of a podcast, a second email confirmed that she had subscribed to the podcast.

She allegedly “printed and improperly removed and transmitted classified information from a defense agency of the U.S. government.” After she printed the information, she mailed the document to the news outlet, and the letter was postmarked with Augusta, Georgia.

Read the full search warrant below:

Reality Leigh Winner by Chris on Scribd

3. Winner Admitted to Sharing the Information to Authorities


According to the criminal complaint, the F.B.I. executed its search warrant on Winner’s home and vehicle and found that had shared the classified information.

Read the full criminal complaint in the document below:

Reality Leigh Winner by Chris on Scribd

Authorities arrested her June 3 at her home, and she admitted to removing the classified intelligence reporting from her office, copying it and mailing it to the news outlet. She allegedly said that she knew that she was not allowed to share the intelligence reporting, and she was aware that using the information for a report could cause damage to the U.S. by a foreign nation.

4. She Faces 10 Years in a Federal Prison


Winner is presumed innocent until proven guilty, but faces 10 years in a federal prison if found guilty of the charge.

The prosecution of Winner is being handled by Julie A. Edelstein of the Department of Justice’s National Security Divisions Counterintelligence and Export Control Section, a news release by the agency said.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Solari of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Georgia is also on the case.

5.She Is From Texas & Lived in Maryland


Winner didn’t have a past criminal record, and her Facebook profile said that she was born in Kingsville, Texas.

The one thing she had on her record was one citation, issued December 13, 2016, in Howard, Maryland for failing to control her vehicle’s speed on a highway to avoid a collision.

She reportedly went to H.M. King High School and lived in Columbia, Maryland at a time.

The last post on her Facebook on June 2 said: “You are what you love, not who loves you.”