Reality Winner, an anti-Trump NSA leaker, was convicted to 5 years in prison for leaking classified documents.
President Donald Trump stated that Reality Winner’s five-year prison sentence for leaking classified to the media was “unfair“—and he took advantage of this claim to criticize Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
Now, the anti-Trump leaker, encouraged by the president’s statement, decided to seek clemency from him.
According to Washington Times, Reality Winner, a former National Security Agency contractor who was sentenced more than five years in prison for leaking classified material to the media, will seek an official pardon from the White House in light of President Trump calling her punishment “so unfair,” she said Friday.
During a telephone conversation from Lincoln County jail near Augusta, Georgia, Winner told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that she will ask Mr. Trump for clemency after he publicly criticized the 63-month sentence she received last week for leaking a top-secret NSA report on Russian election interference, the newspaper reported.
“We’re all having a conversation in regard to how we’re going to move forward,” added Titus Nichols, one of Winner’s attorneys.
A former Air Force linguist, Winner was arrested in June 2017 and faced charges of breaking the Espionage Act under the first criminal leak case prosecuted by the Trump administration. She ultimately admitted she committed the crime to a single count of willful retention and transmission of national defense information and was sentenced last Thursday by a federal court judge in Augusta, Georgia.
The next day, Mr. Trump responded to Winner’s sentence in a tweet criticizing his Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, for not performing the similar prosecution to Democratic rival Hillary Clinton over her use of a private email service as secretary of state.
“Ex-NSA contractor to spend 63 months in jail over ‘classified’ information. Gee, this is ‘small potatoes’ compared to what Hillary Clinton did! So unfair Jeff, Double Standard,” Mr. Trump tweeted.