Prosecutors: Alleged leaker Reality Winner wanted to 'burn the White House down'

Reality Winner, the federal contractor arrested Saturday for allegedly sending a classified NSA report to an online news outlet, was denied bail Thursday after prosecutors argued she was a danger to the public and might leak more classified information.

In a court hearing, prosecutors alleged Winner had written she wanted "to burn the White House Down" and "find somewhere in Kurdistan to live," the Washington Post reported. Prosecutors also said they found the names of three Islamist extremists in her notebooks, Reuters reported, although they addedthey were "not in any way suggesting the defendant has become a jihadist or that she is a Taliban sympathizer."

Federal contractor charged with leaking top-secret NSA document -- Reality Leigh Winner
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Federal contractor charged with leaking top-secret NSA document -- Reality Leigh Winner

Reality Winner, the U.S. intelligence contractor charged with leaking classified National Security Agency material is seen in these undated booking photos in Lincolnton, Georgia, U.S., received June 8, 2017.


Reality Winner (C), the U.S. intelligence contractor charged with leaking classified National Security Agency material is shown in this courtroom sketch during her hearing at the U.S. District Courthouse in Augusta, Georgia, U.S., June 8, 2017. Courtesy Richard Miller via REUTERS EDITORIAL USE ONLY. MANDATORY CREDIT.
Reality Winner exits the Augusta Courthouse June 8, 2017 in Augusta, Georgia. Winner is an intelligence industry contractor accused of leaking National Security Agency (NSA) documents. (Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images)
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A great American once told us to go out and have conversations with one another. #NoDAPL #standwithstandingrock #climatechangeisreal
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Federal contractor Reality Leigh Winner, 25, from Georgia charged with leaking classified material to a news outlet

Prosecutors also argued Winner posed a flight risk if she were released.

Winner, who for six years served as a linguist in the Air Force and speaks three languages, pleaded not guilty to the charges during her first appearance in court since her arrest. She faces up to 10 years in prison if she is convicted.

On Monday, the Intercept published a top-secret NSA report showing the extent of Russian hacking into the 2016 presidential election spanned further than had previously been understood. The report found hackers had targeted a U.S. voting software company and had tried to hack more than 100 local election officials.

Photo: Lincoln County Sheriff's Office in Georgia

Hours after the bombshell report was published, the Department of Justice announced officials had taken Winner into custody from her home in Augusta, Georgia. It was later reported Winner was arrested for sending the documents to the Intercept.

Winner admitted to sending the report, an FBI agent wrote in an affidavit. Investigators are also looking into whether Winner had additional classified material.

Winner's attorney, Titus Nichols, accused the government of "scraping and clawing to build a mountain out of a molehill," according to the Associated Press.

Winner's parents also criticized the case.

"I don't know that she did this, none of this matches," Winner's mother, Billie Winner-Davis, told the Huffington Post on Thursday. "How would she know to access anything? How would she know what to look for? All of the things we read in that affidavit, it just seems to perfectly tied together, a neat little bow. They got the perfect case, but it doesn't match. None of this matches."

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