REALITY CHECK

Ex-NSA Contractor Reality Winner Pleads Guilty to Russia Leak

Ex-Air Force linguist and NSA contractor Reality Winner pleaded guilty Tuesday to leaking classified information about Russian interference in the 2016 elections, according to The New York Times. Winner, the Times reports, searched the NSA’s files and discovered a top-secret document detailing two Russian cyberattacks, one on local election officials and the other on a voter registration software company. She then reportedly sent those files to The Intercept, a publication that the prosecutor notes she “admired,” the Times adds. Winner was the first person prosecuted by the Trump administration for leaks, and is expected to serve more than five years in prison as a result of the plea—a sentence that the Times calls “unusually harsh.” A judge will now decide whether to approve or amend the recommended sentence.