Reality Winner, the former National Security Agency contractor who was jailed for leaking secrets about Russian hacking, has been released early from prison, her lawyer said Monday.
“I am thrilled to announce that Reality Winner has been released from prison,” Alison Grinter Allen, her lawyer, said in a statement posted on Twitter.
Winner, 29, was sentenced to more than five years in prison in 2018 after she leaked classified information to The Intercept news outlet about Russia’s attempts to hack the 2016 presidential election. She pleaded guilty to leaking a classified report that detailed the Russian government’s efforts to penetrate a Florida-based voting software supplier. At the time, the sentence was the longest ever for a federal crime involving leaks to the media.
Her lawyers filed a formal petition for commutation with the Department of Justice in February 2020, saying she had “suffered enough” and called on then-President Donald Trump to “do the right thing.”
The former NSA translator was released for good behavior and is still in custody amid the “residential re-entry process,” Allen said.
“We are relieved and hopeful,” she wrote. “Her release is not a product of the pardon or compassionate release process, but rather time earned from exemplary behavior while incarcerated.”
While Trump did not commute Winner’s sentence, he did say on Twitter in 2018 her punishment was “so unfair”
“Gee, this is ‘small potatoes’ compared to what Hillary Clinton did,” he had tweeted.