Attorneys for accused leaker Reality Winner renew request for bond based on what it believes is new information

The defense team for the former Fort Gordon contractor federal prosecutors say leaked a classified document filed a motion Tuesday asking the judge to reopen her detention hearing and grant her bond.

 

Reality Winner, 25, has been held without bond since her June 3 arrest for allegedly violating the federal Espionage Act. She has pleaded not guilty.

According to the motion and brief filed Tuesday, some of the information provided by the federal prosecution team at Winner’s June 8 detention hearing has proven to be wrong.

“(There is) new information material to the issue of pretrial detention that supports Ms. Winner’s release … information that contradicts or weakens the government’s proffer,” the motion reads.

Federal agents have scrutinized everything Winner owned, including current and outdated electronic equipment, and there is no evidence any other alleged wrongful act has been unearthed, the motion states.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Solari alerted defense attorneys that she had misspoken at the hearing when she said that Winner told her mother she was in trouble for “those documents.” Winner only referenced one document.

And when Winner asked her mother to transfer $30,000 from her account to her mother’s bank account, she wasn’t trying to hide assets so she could have a court appointed attorney. She was concerned federal agents would freeze her bank account and she couldn’t pay bills, the defense brief states.

The defense also contends that the prosecution’s contention that Winner’s use of a Tor computer program could allow her to obtain false identification to flee prosecution or release more classified documents wasn’t true. Millions of Americans, according to Facebook and other sources, use the Tor program to protect their identity online, the defense contends.

The defense also challenges the prosecution’s claim that she confessed – a point Magistrate Judge Brian K. Epps noted in denying Winner’s release on bond in June. The statement she gave may be suppressed but even if it is not, it was far from a confession, the defense contends.

When Solari told the magistrate judge on June 8 that Winner admitted the leaked document could hurt the country, she failed to add that Winner’s statement included the intelligence was already compromised and that this report was only a drop in the bucket.

The document Winner is accused of leaking to the online publication The Intercept concerned an analysis of the Russian attempts to influence the presidential election.

The defense also asks the judge to consider Winner’s health while incarcerated. Winner, a vegan, has had to take medication while in jail for digestion and a skin condition she hadn’t had before.

Also, the defense included a sworn statement from Winner’s mother in which she said she has taken early retirement and plans to move to Augusta where she would be willing to serve as Winner’s custodian pending trial.

Winner’s trial date was pushed back from October to March 19.

Reach Sandy Hodson at sandy.hodson@augustachronicle.com or (706) 823-3226

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