The first case prosecuted by the Trump administration under the Espionage Act concluded with the 26-year-old for NSA contractor and Air Force linguist Reality Winner being sentenced to five years in prison on Thursday.
She had been accused in 2017 of leaking a classified government report on Russian military intelligence cyberattack during the 2016 election season to the online news website The Intercept, and faced up to 10 years in prison along with a $250,000 fine. But she agreed to a plea deal in June.
“I had no intention to harm national security,” Winner told the judge in a federal courtroom in Georgia on Thursday. “I would like to apologize profusely for my actions,” she added, according to The Associated Press. “My actions were a cruel betrayal of my nation’s trust in me.”
U.S. Attorney Bobby L. Christine told the court that betrayal deserved a firm sentence, “Her betrayal of the United States put at risk sources and methods of intelligence gathering, thereby offering advantage to our adversaries.” Under the terms of her sentence, Winner is required to spend 63 months in federal prison, with three years of supervised release.
Winner is the first person the Trump administration prosecuted for allegedly leaking classified secrets. She’s a good person,” said attorney John Bell, who emphasized Winner’s record of service to the nation and that she is a first-time offender. “Someone who didn’t understand the magnitude of what she was doing.”
Read the full story at CNN.