Reality Winner arrives at a courthouse in Augusta, Ga., Thursday, Aug. 23, 2018, after she pleaded guilty in June to copying a classified U.S. report and mailing it to an unidentified news organization. (Michael Holahan/The Augusta Chronicle via AP)
Yesterday, a federal judge sentenced former NSA contractor Reality Winner to 63 months in prison for leaking a classified study of Russian hacking attempts during 2016 to the Qatar-funded website The Intercept. This sentence was the longest sentence, by two years, that has ever been handed out for leaking classified material and, predictably, the left media, which relies on these leaks for any relevance at all, was apoplectic:
Five years in prison for this is absolutely nuts. NUTS. https://t.co/DaZ6RAFaYe
— Chris Hayes (@chrislhayes) August 23, 2018
This conviction — and I’d contend the severity of the sentence — is a direct result of Jeff Sessions’ vow to punish leakers to the maximum extent possible in order to try and stamp out the tsunami of leaked classified information that was underway in the first 6-8 months of the Trump administration. One would think that President Trump would be patting Jeff Sessions on the back. Think again.
Ex-NSA contractor to spend 63 months in jail over “classified” information. Gee, this is “small potatoes” compared to what Hillary Clinton did! So unfair Jeff, Double Standard.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 24, 2018
On the merits of this, I agree. The studious lack interest shown in pursuing actual harmful leaks and exposure of classified information is simply stunning. Even if one takes as a given that there are valid political reasons for leaving Hillary Clinton alone (winners of elections getting into the habit of jailing the losers of elections leads, inevitably, to people deciding they don’t want to relinquish office), there are no similar good reasons for leaving Huma Abedin or any of the rest of Hillary Clinton’s mean girls club free. For that matter, it was Anthony Weiner’s computer that held classified information, so why hasn’t he been charged? And then there is the whole matter of James Comey and the leaks of the existence of the FISA warrants on Carter Page–who has yet to be charged with anything.
I don’t object to making an example of people, but unless Justice starts bringing some more charges, Winner will not be an example of what happens when you leak classified information, she will be an example of what happens when Jeff Sessions is trying to get Donald Trump off his back.
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