Federal Contractor Charged With Leaking Classified Documents, Reportedly To The Intercept

A federal contractor in the state of Georgia in the US has been charged with passing classified information to a news outlet.

Image: AP

Reality Leigh Winner, 25, was arrested on Saturday and appeared in federal court on Monday. In a statement, the Justice Department said that Winner had admitted to removing classified intelligence from her workspace in Augusta, Georgia, the soon-to-be home of the US Army Cyber Command near Fort Gordon. Winner further admitted to mailing it to a news outlet, which the DOJ did not identify.

Shortly after news of Winner's arrest broke, NBC News reported that the news outlet was The Intercept, citing federal officials.

On Monday, the Intercept published a top-secret National Security Agency document which it said had been anonymously provided to the website. The document, dated May 5, offered new insight into the US government's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

The documents revealed that the NSA believes Russian hackers breached at least one electronic-voting vendor based in Florida, while it maintained that it was unclear whether or not the cyberattacks had any effect on the election's outcome.

Furthermore, the document showed that the NSA believes Russian hackers -- part of a special Russian military intelligence unit -- attempted to infect local American government officials with malware.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has adamantly denied that the Russian government was involved in any election hacking and US President Donald Trump has publicly sought to shut down the FBI's investigation into cyberattacks targeting the Democratic party.