Intelligence contractor charged in first criminal leak case of Trump presidency

Intelligence contractor charged in first criminal leak case of Trump presidency

Intelligence contractor charged in first criminal leak case of Trump presidency

The charges were announced shortly after The Intercept published a report, based on a highly classified intelligence report, that alleged Russian military intelligence carried out a cyberattack against a USA voting software supplier.

Russian government hackers within the country's intelligence service masqueraded as an e-voting vendor in an email to trick local US government employees into opening documents that were "invisibly tainted with potent malware", The Intercept reports.

Winner's affidavit, however, notes that an unidentified United States government agency-presumably the National Security Agency-was contacted by the news outlet on May 30 about an upcoming report, precluding any breaking news articles involving classified material prior to that date. It was a top-secret NSA report which found that Russian Federation tried to hack into voting machines in the days leading up to the 2016 election.

The spear-phishing attack, which used a deceptive email to upload malware and steal user logins, was also aimed at 122 local government organizations in late October, the report said.

The Associated Press could not confirm the authenticity of the May 5 NSA document, which The Intercept said it obtained anonymously.

On or about May 9, victor printed and improperly removed classified intelligence reporting, which contained classified national defense information from an intelligence community agency, and unlawfully retained it.

As a federal contractor with Pluribus International, Winner had top-secret clearance and worked at an unnamed government facility in Georgia where an NSA facility is also located.

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According to the document, the NSA compiled its report based on evidence it received in April this year. Winner's court-appointed attorney, Titus Nichols, said a detention hearing will take place on Thursday in Augusta, where the judge will determine whether to release her on bond.

Winner's mother said that her daughter is "touch and go" in an interview with CNN on Monday.

In affidavits filed with the court, Garrick of the Federal Bureau of Investigation said the government was notified of the leaked report by the news outlet that received it.

"Approximately a few days later, victor unlawfully transmitted by mail the intelligence reporting to an online news outlet", the Justice Department continued, adding that victor admitted printing the document following her arrest. Investigators determined she was one of only six individuals to print the document in question and that she had exchanged emails with the news outlet, according to the indictment.

"I think she's trying to be fearless for me", Billie Winner said.

Rosenstein helped prosecute one of them, a case against James E. Cartwright, a retired four-star Marine general and a former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff accused of disclosing classified information to reporters.

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