Alleged leaker's parents fear Trump will be tough on case

Kathleen Mckinney
June 14, 2017

"The document victor allegedly leaked is the same one used as the basis for the article published on Monday by The Intercept, detailing a classified National Security Agency memo".

Winner's attorney says she should be released and prosecutors are exaggerating the threat she poses.

Winner, 25, works for a private contractor, Pluribus International Corp., in Augusta, Ga., and is an Air Force veteran who speaks three languages. The Federal Bureau of Investigation had already apprehended victor by the time The Intercept published the report.

Victor is accused of "removing classified material from a government facility and mailing it to a news outlet", according to a federal complaint.

The Justice Department announced the case against victor about an hour after the Intercept published the document, a May 5 intelligence report from the NSA. "They took her by surprise". She said that during one of her jailhouse phone calls, which were recorded, victor said she planned to "play that card: being pretty, white and cute". Her lawyer says he will argue for her release.

Court records say victor admitted to mailing a copy of the classified report to a news outlet when an Federal Bureau of Investigation agent interviewed her at her home Saturday. "And she felt like she needed to give them what they were asking for at the time".

Victor grew up in Kingsville, Texas, and enlisted in the Air Force after graduating from high school.

Victor spent much of that six year career as an air force linguist in Maryland.

Gary Davis, her stepfather, added that the way victor is being treated now is "disheartening".

"There's not much to comment on right now as far as whether there is a connection between my client and Intercept", Nichols said. "We don't know that yet and there's probably more information to come out", Tarver said.

But those mishandling or leaking classified information face stiff prison sentences if caught.

In recent months, President Trump has railed against leakers, promising to find them and prosecute them.

Deputy White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders roundly denounced Winner's "treasonous acts".

Victor followed Edward Snowden, WikiLeaks, several accounts with links to the hacking collective Anonymous, and several "alt" government agency accounts that became popular after Trump's inauguration.

Meanwhile, in an interview with Huffington Post on Thursday morning, Winner's parents - who came to Augusta from their hometown Kingsville, Texas - defended their daughter by saying she was a patriot and she did not mean any harm for her country.

Utah police are still trying to understand the motive of a man who shot and killed a woman and her 6-year-old son before killing himself in a middle-class suburb of Salt Lake City.

"It doesn't matter why she did it or the quality the report".

Other reports by TheDigitalNewspaper

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