The Department of Justice has charged a 25-year-old federal contractor named Reality Leigh Winner with leaking National Security Agency documents to a media outlet.
Winner will be charged under the Espionage Act, the first steps taken by the Trump administration to make good on a long-standing promise to crack down on leaks to the media.
“Releasing classified material without authorization threatens our nation’s security and undermines public faith in government,” Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said in a statement to Politico. “People who are trusted with classified information and pledge to protect it must be held accountable when they violate that obligation.”
This comes just hours after The Intercept published top-secret NSA documents detailing Russian involvement in the 2016 United States presidential election. The documents detail intelligence of a “months-long Russian intelligence cyber effort against elements of the U.S. election and voting infrastructure,” the Intercept reported.
While this is no doubt a serious matter, the internet is finding the name of the woman charged to be far more interesting that the legal repercussions and security threat.
Some social media users are made connections to the president’s reality TV show past on Monday, while others are excited about the inevitable movie that will be made inspired by the true events. Others just can’t believe that Reality Winner is someone’s real name.
The report published by The Intercept on May 5 stated in its summary that Russian General Staff Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) “executed cyber espionage operations” against a United States company last August. “The actors likely used data obtained from that operation to … launch a voter registration-themed spear-phishing campaign targeting U.S. local government organizations,” the report said. This is the most detailed evidence so far that Russia was involved in hacking during the U.S. presidential election.
Winner, of Augusta, Georgia, is now facing charges that she removed classified material from a government facility and mailed it to a news outlet. She was arrested on Saturday and appeared on the charge Monday.
According to Politico, the criminal complaint filed against Winner shows that she printed out the report “on or about” May 9, and was one of only six people to have done so. Further investigation showed that Winner was the only one of the six to have contacted The Intercept.
Read some of the reactions to her arrest below.
"Then the leaker is revealed to be a woman named Reality Winner."
"That's the dumbest plot twist ever. Get out of my office."
— Oliver Willis (@owillis) June 5, 2017
Her name is "REALITY WINNER"? If so, hard call for Trump: Pardon because he loves Winners, or deny because he can't handle Reality.
— Tina (@TinaNelson5280) June 5, 2017
Reality Winner trying to take down a former reality TV host/judge is true American justice.
— Marie Connor (@thistallawkgirl) June 5, 2017
"Reality Winner" is my new favorite no-way-that-cannot-be-a-real-name real name.
— Jeff B/DDHQ (@EsotericCD) June 5, 2017
who's playing Reality Winner (great name for a Kentucky Derby horse) in the movie? I say Jennifer Lawrence.
— GregGutfeld (@greggutfeld) June 5, 2017
The moment you realize that Trump's ultimate downfall might be pinned to someone named Reality Winner. pic.twitter.com/iU3da4BaNG
— Kno (@Kno) June 5, 2017
With a name like that what else could she do????
— Cloudy (@1424island) June 5, 2017