Jun 14, 2021 - Politics & Policy

NSA whistleblower Reality Winner released from prison, attorney says

Reality Winner

Photo: Sean Rayford/Getty Images

Reality Winner, a former National Security Agency contractor sentenced to more than five years in prison for leaking a classified document on Russian interference in the 2016 election, has been released, according to her attorney.

Why it matters: Winner's sentence in 2018 was the longest anyone has ever received for the federal crime of leaking classified information to the press. Critics say that the Trump-era Justice Department sought to make an example out of Winner, who was 25 at the time and had no criminal record.

What they're saying: "I am thrilled to announce that Reality Winner has been released from prison. She is still in custody in the residential reentry process, but we are relieved and hopeful," Winner's attorney Alison Grinter Allen said in a statement.

  • "Reality and her family have asked for privacy during the transition process as they work to heal the trauma of incarceration and build back the years lost. Her release is not a product of the pardon or compassionate release process, but rather the time earned from exemplary behavior while incarcerated."
  • "Reality is still barred from any public statements or appearances, and any inquires can be handled through my office."
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