POLITICS

Reality Winner Released Early From Prison For Good Behavior

The former government contractor was sentenced to five years for leaking information about Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Reality Winner, the former government contractor sentenced to more than five years for leaking information about Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, has been released from prison.

Winner’s lawyer Alison Grinter Allen said Monday that the 29-year-old has entered a “residential reentry process” ahead of schedule on account of her “exemplary behavior” while incarcerated.

Allen pointedly noted that her client’s early release “is not a product of the pardon or compassionate release process.” 

Winner petitioned former President Donald Trump for a pardon in February 2020 and was denied; instead, Trump doled out pardons to friends and allies, fraudsters and war criminals.

Winner had also sought compassionate release as COVID-19 infected at least 510 female inmates at the federal correctional facility in Fort Worth, Texas, where she was detained. That petition was also rejected.

Winner ended up contracting COVID-19 as convicted Trump aides were released on the same compassionate release she was denied. That includes Paul Manafort, who was released to home confinement after serving less than 30% of his 7.5-year sentence for an eight-count conviction.

The former U.S. Air Force linguist and intelligence specialist was sentenced to five years and three months in federal prison under the Espionage Act in 2018, the longest known sentence in U.S. history for leaking a document to the press under the World War I-era legislation.

The document in question helped inform a story in The Intercept about a monthslong hacking effort by Russian military intelligence to undermine the 2016 U.S. election, including a cyberattack on a U.S. voting software supplier and targeted emails sent to more than 100 local election officials.