Reality Winner, NSA Contractor Imprisoned for Leak, Released From Prison to Halfway House

Former NSA contractor Reality Winner was released from prison to a halfway house after nearly four years behind bars, CNN reports.

Winner was sentenced to 63 months in prison and three years of supervised release after she pleaded guilty to leaking a report about a 2016 Russian military intelligence cyberattack to The Intercept. Winner is expected to stay at a halfway house in San Antonio until November, when her incarceration period ends.

She will still have to be under supervised release for three years once she is released.

Released for good behavior:

Attorney Alison Grinter said Monday that Winner’s release "is not a product of the pardon or compassionate release process, but rather the time earned from exemplary behavior while incarcerated."

Winner had petitioned former President Donald Trump for clemency but he did not include her on his long list of pardons in the final days of his presidency.

"Her continued incarceration is costly, unnecessary to protect the public, burdensome to her health and wellbeing, and not commensurate with the severity of her offense," Grinter wrote in the clemency petition.

"Reality is incredibly strong, really resilient, and has always healed herself by helping other people," Grinter told CNN on Monday. "And I believe that's what she'll continue to do."

Intercept leak:

Winner said at the time of the leak that she hoped to convince journalist Glenn Greenwald of the threat posed by Russia but investigators were able to track the leak to her.

The Intercept reported the memo about a Russian cyberattack on a voting software vendor, though Greenwald has remained a skeptic.

Winner printed the memo out and mailed it, federal prosecutors said. The Intercept sent a copy of the classified memo when it reached out to the NSA for comment.

The NSA launched an internal audit and determined that Winner was just one of six people who had printed the memo and the only one who was in contact with the news outlet from her office computer.


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