AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) — 25-year-old Reality Winner was working in Augusta when federal agents say she leaked classified U.S documents allegedly detailing a 2016 Russian military intelligence cyber-attack on a U.S. voting software supply company. Winner was arrested at her home on Saturday and on Wednesday she will go before a federal judge for a bond hearing.
Ed Tarver, former U.S. District attorney and Federal prosecutor spoke to NewsChannel 6 about the likelihood of Winner being released on bond and the charges she could face if convicted. He says one of the main reasons the documents were considered classified was because it’s still under investigation. He says one of the things to remember when examining a proceeding of this magnitude there is still a presumption of innocence. Until Winner has a trial or enters a plea arrangement then the outcome is to be determined.
“The focus tomorrow will not necessarily be on whether or not she committed the crime that she’s been accused of the focus will be on one or two things, whether or not she is a flight risk, or whether or not we can do some things that will assure that she will show up for trial or court appearances when they are scheduled. The other major consideration is whether or not she presents any type of danger to the community, ” Tarver said.
He says additional factors will play a role in whether or not she will be released such as her ties to the community, statements gathered from friends and family as well as previous employment history. The lead counsel is a District Attorney from Washington D.C. rather than the Southern District of Georgia. He says depending on the evidence they gather could determine how the hearing will go for Winner.
“We really don’t know the full extent of what she’s been charged with because we don’t know the content of the documents that she released. The information in them are arguably classified and she may have shared something that was damaging from a national security standpoint, she may not have. We don’t know that yet and there’s probably more information to come out,” Tarver said.
The bond hearing will take place at the Federal Courthouse in Downtown Augusta at 4 p.m.