An intelligence contractor was charged with sending a classified report about Russia’s interference in the 2016 election to the news media, the New York Times reports. It was the first criminal leak case filed under President Trump. The case showed the Justice Department’s willingness to crack down on leaks, as Trump has sought in complaining that they are undermining his administration. The Justice Department announced the case against contractor Reality Leigh Winner, 25, about an hour after the national-security news outlet The Intercept published the apparent document, a May 5 intelligence report from the National Security Agency.
The report described two August cyberattacks by Russia’s military intelligence unit, the GRU, against a company that sells voter registration-related software; and another, a few days before the election, against 122 local election officials. The Intercept said the NSA. report had been submitted anonymously. The agency said Winner confessed to an agent that she had printed out a May 5 intelligence file and mailed it to an online news outlet. Winner worked for Pluribus International Corporation at a government facility in Georgia. “Releasing classified material without authorization threatens our nation’s security and undermines public faith in government,” said Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Winner was charged under the Espionage Act, which typically has resulted in prison terms of one to three years in leak cases.