- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Attorneys for National Security Agency contractor Reality Winner have asked a court to suppress the statements she made to investigators prior to being taken into custody and charged with leaking classified intelligence.

Ms. Winner’s legal team wrote in a motion filed Tuesday that their client wasn’t read her Miranda rights prior to being questioned by authorities inside her home June 3 and that her statements from then shouldn’t be used as evidence.

Winner was never told she was free to leave, nor was she advised as to her arrest status; indeed, when she specifically asked whether she was under arrest, the agents told her they did not know the answer to that ‘yet,’” her attorneys wrote.

The filing also requests a hearing be scheduled regarding the request.

Ms. Winner, 25, is accused of leaking a classified document to the website The Intercept detailing Russia’s involvement in the 2016 U.S. presidential race.

According to the federal complaint filed against her, Ms. Winner printed and improperly removed classified intelligence reporting in early May obtained on the job at Pluribus International Corporation, an NSA contractor near Augusta, Georgia.

Federal investigators learned about the leak after The Intercept’s reporters contacted the government May 30 prior to publication. Investigators subsequently traced the leak to Ms. Winner and questioned her at her Augusta home on June 3, according to charging documents.

“During that conversation, Winner admitted intentionally identifying and printing the classified intelligence reporting at issue,” the government argued. “Winner further admitted removing the classified intelligence reporting from her office space, retaining it and mailing it from Augusta, Georgia, to the news outlet, which she knew was not authorized to receive or possess the documents.”

Winner further acknowledged that she was aware of the contents of the intelligence reporting and that she knew the contents of the reporting could be used to the injury of the United States and to the advantage of a foreign nation,” according to investigators.

Ms. Winner ultimately pleaded not guilty to a federal charge of gathering, transmitting or losing defense information, and faces a maximum of 10 years in prison if convicted.

A tentative start date for the government’s case against Ms. Winner was established during a status hearing Wednesday for Oct. 23, a local Fox affiliate reported.

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