Accused federal contractor Winner pleads not guilty, denied bail

Augusta (Georgia) [U.S.A.], June 9 : Reality Winner has pleaded not guilty in the federal court to charges in connection with removing classified material from a government facility and giving it to an authorised person.

She was, however, denied bail, CNN reports. Earlier, the United States Justice Department announced charges against Winner with Top Secret security clearance, after she allegedly leaked classified information to an online media outlet.

Winner is accused of "removing classified material from a government facility and mailing it to a news outlet," according to a federal complaint.

"The document Winner allegedly leaked is the same one used as the basis for the article published on Monday by The Intercept, detailing a classified National Security Agency memo.

The NSA report, dated May 5, provides details of a 2016 Russian military intelligence cyberattack on a U.S.

voting software supplier, though there is no evidence that any votes were affected by the hack," CNN reports.

The information reportedly has not changed the January 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment, which found, "Russian intelligence obtained and maintained access to elements of multiple US state or local electoral boards.

DHS assesses that the types of systems Russian actors targeted or compromised were not involved in vote tallying." The intelligence agency was contacted by the news outlet on May 30 regarding an upcoming story, saying it was in possession of what appeared to be a classified document.

The Intercept's director of communications Vivian Siu told CNN the document was provided anonymously. "Releasing classified material without authorisation threatens our nation's security and undermines public faith in government.

People who are trusted with classified information and pledge to protect it must be held accountable when they violate that obligation," Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein later said in a statement.

Winner, prosecutors say when confronted with the allegations, admitted to intentionally leaking the classified document and was arrested June 3 in Augusta, Georgia.

Winner, a contractor with Pluribus International Corporation in Georgia, faces up to 10 years in prison for leaking classified information.

Source: ANI