Accused leaker Reality Winner moves to suppress statements to police

Accused leaker Reality Winner moves to suppress statements to police
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Reality Winner, a National Security Agency (NSA) contractor accused of leaking classified information to the media, has moved to suppress her statements to law enforcement. 

In a motion to suppress filed in U.S. District Court Tuesday, attorneys for Winner argued that the defendant was not read her Miranda rights before being interrogated in June.

The filing alleges that when Winner arrived at her home on June 3, the day she was arrested, she was met by 10 armed male law enforcement agents before being escorted to a back room, where two of the agents questioned her.


"In that unfurnished room, Winner sat with her back against the wall, with her two questioners blocking the exit to the room, a door that was nearly shut," the court filing reads.

"Winner was never told she was free to leave, nor was she advised as to her arrest status; indeed, when she specifically asked whether she was under arrest, the agents told her they did not know the answer to that 'yet.'"

The filing says that agents also reminded Winner that law enforcement had obtained a search warrant for her person, "a significant fact that would make any reasonable person believe she was detained."

After Winner's interrogation, she was instructed to wait in her yard until two female officers were called to take her to jail, despite not having been read her Miranda rights, the filing states.

The filing also asks for an evidentiary hearing to demonstrate why her statements to law enforcement should be suppressed.

Federal prosecutors say that Winner admitted to FBI agents after her arrest that she had shared with the online news outlet The Intercept a classified NSA report detailing Russian efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election. 

In June, shortly after her arrest, Winner pleaded not guilty to a federal charge of gathering, transmitting or losing defense information, a felony under the Espionage and Censorship Act that carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.

She is the first person to face leaking charges under the Trump administration.