The parents of NSA contractor Reality Leigh Winner are speaking out, after their daughter was arrested and charged with espionage for leaking a top-secret document to the news media. Winner was charged less than an hour after the publication of an Intercept exposé that reveals Russian military intelligence conducted a cyberattack on at least one U.S. voting software company just days before the U.S. presidential election last November. This is Winner’s mother, Billie Winner-Davis.
Billie Winner-Davis: “She came home from the grocery store, and she was followed into her driveway and her home by FBI agents. She said she was—she was very scared. They took her by surprise. She was not expecting any of this. She said they were all armed. They took her into the back room of her house, which is a room she never goes into, for reasons, anyway, but—you know, and basically then she was arrested from that point. And we did not have any information with regard to the charges or anything until after the hearing on Monday.”
NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has spoken out about Winner’s arrest, saying, “To hold a citizen incommunicado and indefinitely while awaiting trial for the alleged crime of serving as a journalistic source should outrage us all.” Meanwhile, The Intercept has published a statement, saying, “While the FBI’s allegations against Winner have been made public through the release of an affidavit and search warrant, which were unsealed at the government’s request, it is important to keep in mind that these documents contain unproven assertions and speculation designed to serve the government’s agenda and as such warrant skepticism. Winner faces allegations that have not been proven. The same is true of the FBI’s claims about how it came to arrest Winner.”