Former NSA Translator Reality Winner Jailed for Leaking Classified Intel to be Released From Prison

Former National Security Agency translator Reality Winter, who was jailed for leaking classified intelligence, will be released early from prison. The news was announced on Twitter on Monday by her attorney, who spoke also spoke with Newsweek.

The attorney, Alison Grinter Allen, tweeted that Reality Winner "is still in custody in the residential reentry process, but we are relieved and hopeful."

"Her release is not a product of the pardon or compassionate release process, but rather the time earned from exemplary behavior while incarcerated," the statement continued.

"Reality is still barred from public statements or appearances, and any inquires can be handled through my office," the note from Grinter Allen added.

Some very exciting news for #RealityWinner and her family!!

— Alison Grinter Allen (@alisongrinter) June 14, 2021

Winner was convicted in 2018 of removing classified material from a government facility and mailing it to a news outlet. She was sentenced to five years and three months at Federal Medical Center, Carswell, a federal prison in Fort Worth, Texas. Her sentence was the longest anyone has ever received for the crime of leaking classified information to the press. Winner, a former U.S. Air Force veteran, was 25 at the time of the sentencing and had no criminal record.

Her arrest came after she allegedly gave a report about Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections to the news website The Intercept. The report indicated that Russian hackers accessed voter registration rolls in the U.S. with an email phishing operation.

Winner's lawyers had previously filed a formal petition for commutation with the Department of Justice in February 2020. At a news conference announcing the petition, they stated she had "suffered enough" and called on then-President Donald Trump to "do the right thing."

Though Trump did not help her, he did comment about her sentencing when it was announced in 2018. At that time, he tweeted: "Ex-NSA contractor to spend 63 months in jail over 'classified' information. Gee, this is 'small potatoes' compared to what Hillary Clinton did!"

While speaking with Newsweek by phone, Grinter Allen said she expected Winner to spend time with her family upon release. However, she also said, "If I know Reality, I would be surprised if her work going forward doesn't involve advocacy and activism regarding criminal justice and incarceration."

Grinter Allen noted Winner was "very moved by all she came to see" during her time in prison.

The attorney also said her work is not done in regards to the whistleblower. She said, "I will continue working on getting her a full pardon."

Update 06/14/21 1:40 p.m. EDT: This story has been updated to include comments from Grinter Allen.

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