(Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images)
Air Force Vet Reality Winner Denied Bail Before Facing Trial For Allegedly Leaking Classified NSA Reports
A judge has denied bail to Reality Winner, the 25-year-old Air Force veteran who has been accused of sending a classified report on a 2016 Russian military intelligence cyber attack to the media.
According to Daily Mail reports, Winner entered a not guilty plea during her appearance before Judge Brian K. Epps at U.S. District Court in downtown Augusta, GA Thursday. She is charged with a single count of “willful retention and transmission of national defense information”.
During the hearing, the prosecution described Winner as “extremely intelligent,” and said it’s possible she removed information from a “Top Secret computer on an USB drive,” adding that the thumb drive hasn’t been recovered.
The prosecutor disclosed a number of damning details which likely prevented the judge from setting bail. Among those details were her assertion that Winner had a fascination with the Middle East and Islamic terrorism, as well as references to handwritten notes discovered at Winner’s home which appeared to sympathize with Osama bin Laden and Taliban leader, Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour, as well as references to plans to live in countries including Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nepal and Mexico.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Solari told the judge Winner had written a notebook where she wrote the statement: ‘I want to burn the White House down… find somewhere in Kurdistan to live. Haha!’
The pages also included notes on how to install Tor Browser on a computer which allows the Dark Web to be accessed and notes on how to unlock a cellphone and untie it from the provider, ‘creating a single-use burner account,’ the prosecution said.
Solari said that Winner had taken a three-day trip to Belize last month and had researched traveling from Atlanta to Tel Aviv in September 2017.
The prosecution also detailed information from taped prison calls between Winner and her mother and Winner and her sister.
While Winner is only charged for leaking one document, during calls with her mother she was recorded saying she “screwed up over those documents,” which raised a red flag for the prosecution.
In one call with her sister Winner describe her plan to “play the court” during her bond hearing, allegedly saying:
“I’m pretty, white and cute,” then going on to detail how she’d braid her hair and cry in court.
Becky Reality… Looks like your “pretty” potato face isn’t playing nobody’s court today!
Winner is a U.S. Air Force veteran. She’s worked as a linguist in the past and speaks Farsi, Pashto and Dari.
What do you think about her plans to “play the court”?