Air Force veteran involved in leak case asks FBI admission suppressed
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The young lady who was charged with leaking classified U.S. documents has requested the federal judge ruling her case to rule that comments she had previously made to FBI agents before her arrest should not be used as evidence against her. Reality Winner, who was a former Air Force linguist and held a top-secret security clearance, had worked for the government as a contractor in Augusta, Georgia. This was until she was charged of making copies of classified report and sending the copies to an online news organization. According to a criminal complaint that was filed on the 5th of June in the U.S. District Court, Winner had admitted to leaking the documents during a questioning session by FBI agents serving a search warrant at her apartment. Winner's defense attorneys filed a court motion last Tuesday requesting the judge to suppress any comments that their client had made to the FBI during the questioning because apparently the FBI agents had forgotten to read Winner her Miranda rights. Winner’s attorneys said that, even though their client had not been formally arrested, she had every reason to assume she was in custody since she was questioned in a room of her apartment as two FBI agents stood in front of the door. The prosecutors have not responded or filed any legal reply to the defense motion and as per Wednesday the judge had not given any ruling concerning the motion. Nevertheless, U.S. Magistrate Judge Brian K. Epps agreed to postponing Winner’s trial during a status hearing last Wednesday, the trial had been scheduled to begin in October. Epps postponed the case until March after Winner's attorneys reported that newer members of the defense team had not obtained national security clearances and so were not able to examine classified documents that are related to the case. So far the authorities have not given any description of the classified report, which Winner is accused of leaking or named the news outlet that received it. However, the Justice Department announced Winner's arrest on the same day that The Intercept reported it had gotten hold of classified National Security Agency report that suggested that Russian hackers had attacked a U.S. voting software supplier before last year's presidential election. The NSA report was dated May 5, the same as the document Winner is charged with leaking. Winner on the other hand had pleaded not guilty to the charges. She is charged with illegal retention and transmission of national defense information. This federal crime carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison if she's found guilty.