NSA contractor was afraid she would 'disappear' after arrest

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Davis-Winner said she has "difficulty believing that she actually did what they're saying she did". "She was not expecting any of this". "She's 25 years old", Kiriakou said.

Before the presidential election, Ms. Winner wrote, "On a positive note, this Tuesday when we become the United States of the Russian Federation, Olympic lifting will be the national sport". Yet we don't know exactly how - and we don't have a means of stopping Russian Federation from doing it again. Victor was the only employee found to have corresponded to a media company on her office computer. "I don't know what she did when she went to work".

Goitein said you can debate whether Winner's alleged leak was sensible, but "to put her on par with Aldrich Ames" - a Central Intelligence Agency mole who aided Russian Federation in the 1980s and '90s - "seems clearly wrongheaded".

He also declined to name the federal agency for which victor worked, saying only that she is a "very good person" with no criminal history.

The 25-year-old USA government contractor has worked since February in Augusta, Georgia, for a federal agency that neither prosecutors nor her defence lawyer will name and where she had access to sensitive documents.

However, The Intercept broke a story Monday with details on Russian attempts to penetrate US election systems. She then allegedly mailed the document to the Intercept. "She serves her community, she served her country". The former senior airman had received the Air Force Commendation Medal, which is given to airmen for meritorious achievement and service. She "provided over 1,900 hours of enemy intelligence exploitation and assisted in geolocating 120 enemy combatants", the award stated.

- She was raised in Kingsville, Texas, and served in the Air Force in Columbia, Maryland. She also apparently enjoys yoga. She's not a violent person.

According to the Department of Justice, Winner printed the documents around May 5 and "unlawfully retained it" before sending it to the media house. In a series of Tweets starting earlier today, Assange said that victor "must be supported" and accused The Intercept of not being careful.

In affidavits filed with the court, an FBI investigator said the government was notified of the leaked report by the news outlet that received it, and then determined only six employees had made physical copies of the report.

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The news organization, which is headed by investigative reporter Glenn Greenwald, who was part of the team that first published the Snowden documents, cautioned against drawing any conclusions from Federal Bureau of Investigation assertions on how it tracked victor.

The Intercept said the NSA report was dated May 5 - the same date court records cited for the documents victor is accused of leaking.

A detention hearing is scheduled for Thursday afternoon in U.S. District Court for victor, 25, who has been jailed since she was taken into custody Saturday when federal agents searched her Battle Row home.

After The Intercept obtained the document, it gave the NSA and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence a copy of the document and asked for comment.

And Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, says "the extent of the attacks is much broader than has been reported so far" - meaning, worse than even these latest revelations indicate. She is scheduled to appear before a federal judge Thursday for a detention hearing. "She's, she's our victor. So".

"She called us (Sunday) night".

An Instagram account that appears to belong to victor - it has a photo of victor in uniform with her last name clearly visible - is nearly entirely nonpolitical.

"I'm terrified. I'm terrified that she's not going to be treated fairly and that they're going to try to make an example of her and that's not fair", she added.

The formal charges against her say she emailed a highly classified document to The Intercept, who in turn published the report, which claims Russian military intelligence hacked at least one unnamed voting software supplier in the USA and attempted to gain access from more than 100 local election officials just before last November's election.

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She could be in a world of trouble, said Jeffrey Toobin, CNN's senior legal analyst.

"The law is very clear here". Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from all matters related to the election after it emerged he met with the Russian ambassador to the US on at least two occasions previous year.

On social media, victor was both condemned and praised.

Not sure. Posting under the pseudonym Sara Winners, Ms Winner often criticised Donald Trump on social media.

Winner's lawyer, Nichols, would not confirm that his client was the source of the leak.

On social media, victor mostly shared glimpses into her life far removed from politics - such as watching Doctor Who with her cat and serving her family a vegetarian meal of barbecued jackfruit. "I didn't know anything". She began working with Pluribus in February and had "top-secret" clearance, according an affidavit from the Justice Department. Her Twitter activity dropped significantly after that date. Numerous accounts claim to be run by agency employees unhappy with Trump.

The Julian Assange-founded company stated that the money is earmarked for whoever helps with the "public exposure & termination" of the reporter. She is reportedly fluent in Farsi, Dari and Pashto. "Acts of non-elite sources communicating knowledge should be strongly encouraged", he tweeted. He told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that victor plans to plead not guilty to the charge of "gathering, transmitting or losing defense information". "The government seems to have a political agenda".

Many officials criticized the leak. He said Russia categorically denies "the possibility" of the Russian government being behind it.

"There's a right way and wrong way to do this". "Speak to an attorney before you blow the whistle".

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"A contractor, a federal employee can not just take it upon themselves to bypass the classification system", Chaffetz said. "I think it is important to note that any disclosure of classified or sensitive information clearly threatens our national security".