Supporters Condemn Decision to Deny Bail to Accused Whistleblower Reality Winner
The Stand With Reality support group strongly condemns the court’s unfair decision today to continue the unjust imprisonment of Reality Leigh Winner. Winner faces a March 2018 trial for sharing a classified NSA document with the media that outlined how foreign agents attempted to undermine US election systems leading up to the 2016 presidential election.
Winner, a decorated Air Force veteran with no criminal record, who has already served four months in jail despite being convicted of no crime, and displaying every intention to face the single charge against her in court, will now be jailed for at least six more months, regardless of the jury’s eventual verdict.
Winner’s step-father Gary Davis stated, “A great miscarriage of justice has taken place today. Justice is supposed to be based on proof and evidence not unsubstantiated innuendo, fabrication, and misrepresentation of selected snippets of conversations taken out of context.”
This decision comes in spite of the prosecution’s admission it made false statements and misrepresented evidence in Winner’s original bail hearing on June 8th. Assistant U.S. attorney Jennifer G. Solari admitted she did not listen to the contents of a phone call used as evidence against Winner in her original bail hearing, instead relying on a “verbal summary” Solari later said was inaccurate.
Support group organizer, and previous director of Chelsea Manning’s defense fund, Jeff Paterson noted, “The prosecution falsely claimed that Reality had more classified documents in her possession, suggesting that she’d leak those documents too if given a chance. That turned out be a lie.”
“The prosecution also manipulated Winner’s politics to paint her as a danger to society and a flight risk,” added Paterson. “She expressed a desire to travel to conflict zones as a peacekeeper. The prosecution twisted her humanitarian outlook to characterize her as a future terrorist.”
“This is the opening salvo in the new war on whistleblowers and sets an extremely dangerous precedent,” explained government transparency advocate Rainey Reitman. “By this logic, anyone who has ever held a security clearance and disagrees with the U.S. government is a danger to society and should be in jail. But where does this end? Should Winner be in prison for life because of opinions and information she has in her head?”
Reitman continues, “Reality Winner is innocent of her charges under the Espionage Act. This 100 year old law, designed to prosecute spies during World War I, is being misused to deny Reality Winner legally-guaranteed whistleblower protections.”
Winner’s mother, Billie Davis-Winner, shared, “I am truly heartbroken and crushed. I am disappointed in the court’s decision and believe it is unfair. Her service to the country, and every community she has ever lived in, should have been weighted.”
Matt Boyle, a close friend of Winner’s, declared, “I’m incredibly saddened today. Reality will spend nearly a year in jail before even having her day in court. David Petraeus, on the other hand, didn’t serve a day behind bars. The degree to which our government has gone after her shakes my faith in our justice department.”
Winner has a top notch defense team determined to prove her innocence in court, despite the prosecution’s ongoing campaign to deny her the right to a fair and open trial. The Stand With Reality Winner support group has been the primary source of fundraising for Winner’s legal defense team and is leading public education efforts regarding this precedent setting First Amendment vs. Espionage Act case.
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