Judge: Reality Winner won’t be freed from jail pending her trial

A federal judge in Augusta has denied Reality Winner’s latest attempt to get out of jail pending her March 19 trial in the National Security Agency leak investigation, saying there are too many risks.

“The court finds by a preponderance of the evidence that defendant is a serious flight risk and no condition or combination of conditions will reasonably assure the safety of the community (particularly national security) or the appearance of defendant as required,” U.S. Chief District Court Judge J. Randal Hall wrote in his order this week. 

Winner, the first accused leaker to be prosecuted by the Trump administration, has pleaded not guilty to a charge of leaking an NSA report about Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election to The Intercept, an online news publication. 

RELATED: Feds: NSA leak suspect wrote of wanting to ‘burn the White House down’

In October, U.S. Magistrate Judge Brian Epps said it’s possible the former Air Force linguist could flee the country and harm national security if she were freed. He said her own writings show she hates the United States and has plotted against the government, adding she admires former NSA contractor Edward Snowden and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Winner appealed Epps’ order to keep her in jail. Hall denied that appeal Monday.

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