Reality Leigh Winner was charged with allegedly leaking a top secret report to the web site The Intercept.
Photo: Reality Leigh Winner's Instagram
Photo: Reality Leigh Winner's Instagram

FBI seizes documents, computers from home of Augusta contractor

The FBI has seized a long list of documents, computer equipment and other items from the Augusta home of the federal contractor who has been charged in the National Security Agency leak case. 

Court records show the FBI visited Reality Leigh Winner’s home Saturday and took her passport, some mail, a pair of spiralbound notebooks, two piece of notebook paper with handwritten notes, a power bill, a Department of Defense-issued “country handbook” about Iran, a nondisclosure agreement, a cell phone, two laptop computers and a tablet computer. 

Winner, 25, has been charged with sending to the news media a classified government report about Russia’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election. The U.S. Justice Department announced her arrest Monday, about an hour after The Intercept reported that it had obtained a top-secret NSA report about Russia’s interference. The intelligence report, according to The Intercept, says Russian military intelligence officials tried to hack into the U.S. voting system just before last November’s election. 

Winner lives on Battle Row in a poorer stretch of Augusta near John C. Calhoun Expressway, just a few miles east of The Augusta National Golf Club. Around her small brick home are many tired looking bungalows with metal roofs, some boarded up.

Winner’s attorney, Titus Nichols, referred questions about the significance of what was seized to the federal government. He told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that Winner plans to plead not guilty to the charge of “gathering, transmitting or losing defense information.” 

“She will enter a plea of not guilty,” he said, though he declined to say why. “We can’t go into that as far as strategy.” 

RELATED: Augusta contractor charged with mishandling top-secret U.S. materials

IN-DEPTH: Augusta at center of NSA leak investigation

A federal court hearing has been scheduled for 4 p.m. Thursday in Augusta concerning her detention. She is now being held at the Lincoln County Jail. Nichols said he plans to argue for her release. 

“She is not a flight risk,” he said. “There really is nowhere she can go because of all the media attention she has received. Plus, the government seized her passport.” 

Nichols said he recently visited Winner at the jail and she appeared in good condition. 

“I have spoken to her and her family as recently as yesterday,” he said. “She is in good spirits and she is looking forward to her next hearing.”

The Lincoln Sheriff’s Office declined to provide a copy of Winner’s jail booking records and referred questions to U.S. Marshals Service officials, who declined to comment.

Gary Davis, stepfather of Reality Leigh Winner, says the depiction of Winner through social media is not an “an accurate portrayal of my daughter." Winner, who lives in Augusta, Ga., is accused of leaking national security information on Russia hac

Read the search warrant

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