Reality Winner, a former government intelligence contractor, and whistleblower, was released for good behavior and shifted to a halfway house to serve out her sentence. She was convicted after leaking reports on Russian meddling in the American elections.
The former National Security Agency contractor was released for her good behavior into a re-entry program. Her attorney Alison Allen made the announcement saying she would now enter a residential program. Allen said that they are thankful and expectant.
But Reality Winner remains barred from making any public statements. She and her family have pleaded for privacy during her transition process. They were together in healing the torment of imprisonment.
A Harsh Attack On The First Amendment For Reality Winner
Reality Winner was sentenced in 2018 to 5 years for leaking classified reports. Then aged 26, she was the first to be convicted under the Espionage Act during Trump’s rule. She pleaded guilty as part of a deal.
Winner was working for Pluribus International Corporation, a defense contractor in Georgia when she was accused of leaking classified documents that pointed to Russian hacking of voting software suppliers. She had printed the report and mailed it to the news site, The Intercept.
There were reports of attempts to breach around 100 electoral systems on polling day.
Reality Winner had called it an undeniable mistake. But the case had also thrown into stark reality the lengths to which the Trump administration would go to muzzle free speech in America. The draconian Espionage Act need not have been used against whistleblowers.
Betsy Reed, The Intercept’s editor-in-chief had condemned the politically motivated and selective sentence of whistleblowers under the Espionage Act. He said it was an attack on the 1st amendment and would be judged harshly by history.
The leakage was published by the news site Intercept and Winner was arrested within an hour in June 2017. Reality Winner was not granted clemency by President Trump in 2020.
She will move from Fort Worth, Texas to the halfway house in San Antonio till the end of her incarceration in November this year. There will be a further three years of parole or probation.