Reality Winner was indicted for illegally retaining and transmitting national defense information by a magistrate judge who said the woman had taken other classified information that could still be passed to enemies of the U.S.
A federal prosecutor said in court that authorities had uncovered a series of “new and downright frightening” other acts by Winner, including inserting a thumb drive into her Air Force computer and taking classified information while she was still in the military.
“When you take a thumb drive in a top-secret computer as she did, we don’t know what happened to it,” U.S. Magistrate Judge Brian Epps said at the hearing. “That falls into the landscape of danger to the community but it is also a danger to the nation.”
Winner, who has worked for government contractor Pluribus International Corp. since February, was arrested on Saturday. The charges against her were announced by the U.S. Justice Department on Monday shortly after the online news outlet The Intercept published what it said was a National Security Agency report detailing Russian cyber attacks in the days before the 2016 election.
Winner is the first person to be charged with espionage by Donald Trump’s administration, which has been plagued by leaks on everything from the president’s conversations with world leaders to his calling former FBI Director James Comey a “nut job.” Trump tweeted on May 16 that he has been “asking Director Comey & others, from the beginning of my administration, to find the LEAKERS in the intelligence community.