NSA contractor accused of leaking classified info about Russian attempts to hack 2016 election

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NSA contractor accused of leaking classified information about Russia's interference in 2016 election. (KTRK)

A 25-year-old is facing charges for allegedly leaking classified information about Russia's attempted interference in the 2016 election.

NSA Contractor Reality Leigh Winner, from Augusta, Georgia, is facing the possibility of serious prison time.

Winner is accused of leaking a top secret National Security Agency document providing the most detailed account yet of Russian efforts to hack the November election.

Her attorney, Titus Thomas Nichols, claimed she's being used as a "scapegoat for what could be considered a political agenda."

Winner served six years in the military and speaks Pashtun and Farsi. She was hired by Pluribus International Corporation, a tech company doing work for the NSA, this past February.

On May 5, a report was leaked detailing a 2016 Russian military intelligence cyberattack on a U.S. voting software supply company.

There is no evidence of this influencing the outcome of the Presidential Election but it comes on the heels of President Trump's announcement to punish leakers inside the federal government with harsh penalties.

The Intercept, an online news source who published the material, insists the document came to them anonymously and that they had no knowledge of the identity of their source. They simply asked the NSA if the document was real.

Officials said they could tell by the visible creases it was a printout. They checked and found only six employees had printed out that particular document and only one of the six had been in contact with the news outlet.

According to the FBI affidavit, that was Winner.

A spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin denied the allegations and denied the possibility that the Russian government was behind the cyberattack.

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NSArussiaPresident Donald Trumpvladimir putin2016 electionWashington DC
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