Feds Say It Would Be Unsafe to Release Alleged NSA Leaker

Reality Winner denied bail
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 9, 2017 3:42 AM CDT
Alleged NSA Leaker Refused Bail
This June 2017 photo released by the Lincoln County (Ga.) Sheriff's Office, shows Reality Winner.   (Ga.) Sheriff's Office via AP)

Alleged NSA leaker Reality Winner was denied bail Thursday after prosecutors warned that she might have more secrets to release—including those stored only in her head. Winner, 25, was shackled during her appearance in the federal courtroom in Augusta, Ga., where she pleaded not guilty to illegally transmitting national defense information, the AP reports. "We don't know how much more she knows and how much more she remembers," assistant US Attorney Jennifer Solari told the judge. "But we do know she's very intelligent. So she's got a lot of valuable information in her head." Solari said Winner inserted a flash drive into a computer while serving in the Air Force, and authorities don't know where it is now.

Solari also said investigators had found "disturbing" comments in one of Winner's notebooks, including: "I want to burn the White House down." She said Winner also wrote down the names of extremists including Osama bin Laden, though she stressed that prosecutors are not trying to link Winner to terrorism. During the hearing, Winner's parents testified to her good character, and defense attorney Titus Nichols accused prosecutors of "making a mountain out of a molehill," NBC News reports. "Simply plugging a flash drive into a computer is not downright frightening," he said. The judge decided to deny bail, citing the White House comment, the Washington Post reports. "Whether that’s a jest or not, it still concerns me," he said. (More Reality Winner stories.)

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