Former NSA contractor Reality Winner is released from prison for good behavior

A sign at a protest in support of Reality Winner outside the White House in June 2019. (Pamela Drew / Flickr)


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Reality Winner, a former NSA-contractor found guilty of leaking classified government material, has been released early for good behavior, according to her lawyer.

Winner accepted a guilty plea agreement in 2018 for leaking classified information about the Russian government’s attempt to interfere with U.S. elections to The Intercept.

“Winner is released a bit early for good behavior and will be finished with the reentry process and onto supervised release in November,” her lawyer Alison Grinter said in an email.

Winner was originally sentenced to more than five years in prison, the longest term ever imposed by a court for a case involving leaking. Winner and her lawyer have petitioned the Department of Justice to commute the sentence and unsuccessfully requested a pardon from former President Donald Trump. Grinter says that there has been no decision made on the commutation or pardon.

“The fight continues and I’ll still be taking meetings in Washington to press forward the case for commutation and pardon, but the family will be stepping back to concentrate on Reality and her health and healing,” Grinter said in an email. “She became an aunt while she was behind bars, and she is going to spend as much time as she can bonding and tickling little feet as she adjusts to life in the world.”

Winner previously sought compassionate release during the pandemic, claiming that COVID-19 related prison lockdowns worsened her depression and eating disorder. The motion was denied, a ruling upheld by an appeals court.

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National Security Agency (NSA), Reality Winner, Russia