Accused NSA leaker Reality Winner is finding support from anti-Trump celebrity Rosie O’Donnell, who called her a “brave young patriot” and even donated to her GoFundMe page.
brave young patriot – https://t.co/MCnQ1U33vF
— ROSIE (@Rosie) June 7, 2017
— ROSIE (@Rosie) June 8, 2017
As of this weekend, over $30,000 had been raised for the 25-year-old who’s accused of leaking classified NSA materials to The Intercept.
Winner has been held in jail after prosecutors found a notebook saying that she wanted to “burn the White House down.”
Winner, 25, was indicted on a charge of “willful retention and transmission of national defense information” — and she has now been told by a federal court that she must remain in custody.
In part, this is due to a diary entry in which she wrote, “I want to burn the White House Down…find somewhere in Kurdistan to live. Ha-ha!”
U.S. Magistrate Judge Brian Epps labeled the passage a concern “whether that’s a jest or not.”
Aside from apparently fantasizing about arson, she is also thought to be a flight risk.
Her mother disagreed, however, and had even offered to put up the 20-acre Texas property she shares with Winner’s stepfather as collateral for her daughter, who she said has no prior criminal history.
Whether the former Air Force linguist could have successfully traveled to Kurdistan is unknown, although she reportedly speaks multiple languages used in the Middle East and Central Asia, including Farsi and Arabic.
She had top-secret clearance while working for Georgia-based government contractor Pluribus, where she allegedly stole an NSA document relating to Russian hacking attempts during last year’s presidential election that she printed and mailed to The Intercept. She was arrested by FBI agents on Monday.
Winner pleaded not guilty despite previously telling investigators that she copied and mailed the document. If convicted, she could face a decade in jail.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Solari also suspects that the 5’5” blonde could have other stolen secrets she might leak.
Winner reportedly copied top-secret Air Force files to a portable hard drive before leaving the military and has software on her computer that would mask her identity and location, according to The Associated Press.
“We don’t know how much more she knows and how much more she remembers,” Solari said, “but we do know she’s very intelligent, so she’s got a lot of valuable information in her head.”
And based on recorded phone calls made this week in jail, Winner is willing to use her intelligence to scheme her way out of trouble, saying in one conversation that she was planning to “play that card: being pretty, white and cute.”
She told her mother in a separate prison conversation, “Mom, those documents. I screwed up.”
But her defense attorney, Titus Nichols, disagrees with that assessment of his client — and has claimed that Winner is being singled out due to her young age.
“Because my client is a millennial, and she knows how to use technology, that’s somehow proof of evil intent,” Nichols said. “The government is scraping and clawing to build a mountain out of a molehill.”