In 2017, Reality Winner, a 25-year-old Air Force veteran and intelligence contractor was arrested for leaking confirmation of 2016 Russian election meddling to The Intercept; Winner seems to have been motivated by the same outrage that had animated Ed Snowden four years earlier: watching her bosses lie about matters of national interest.
Winner is a principled, brilliant patriot who was facing a long prison sentence when she pleaded guilty and got a five-year term, the longest ever term for an offense of the sort Winner was accused of committing.
In the months since Winner's sentence, her alleged leak has been vindicated again and again, as members of Trump's inner circle have pleaded guilty, or been convicted, of acting as unregistered foreign agents, of secretly arranging Russian payouts, of lying to US law enforcement and Congress.
But these swamp creatures aren't drawing five-year sentences like young Ms Winner. Instead, they're getting wrist-slaps (George Papadopoulos got 14 days and sought early release after 12).
Winner's mother, Billie Winner-Davis, has written an impassioned editorial for The Intercept, describing the ways that Reality Winner is suffering for the crime of telling us something we desperately needed to know, and railing against the impunity of the men who committed the crimes she disclosed.
Winner can receive letters and money for her commissary account, as well as books (only books sent direct by Amazon, due to prison rules):
REALITY WINNER 22056-021
FMC CARSWELL FEDERAL MEDICAL CENTER
PO BOX 27137
FORT WORTH, TX 76127
Then Manafort. Despite having the financial means, connections, multiple passports, and experience traveling to other countries — at levels that far exceeded Reality’s — Manafort was allowed to remain out of jail on bond. Manafort’s bond was revoked only when he was accused of tampering with witnesses, and even then he seemed to be getting preferential treatment — until a judge transferred him to a “real” jail. Manafort was convicted of eight crimes and then entered into a plea agreement in another case. That plea was later revoked, after he was accused of lying to prosecutors.
Last year, on December 18, 2017, as the court allowed Manafort to travel to the Hamptons to celebrate Christmas, our family celebrated that Reality had been given fresh fruit, a gift from a local church, and the very first fresh anything since her arrest on June 3, 2017.
Next comes Papadopoulos, who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI concerning his contacts, during the presidential campaign, with people he believed had connections to the Russian government. He was sentenced to a total of 14 days in prison — and even then tried to get this sentence postponed before spending a mere 12 days incarcerated. What I wouldn’t give to even have Reality released after 12 months.
My Daughter Reality Winner Faced Severe Punishment, but Key Figures in the Trump-Russia Scandal Are Getting Off Easy [Billie Winner-Davis/The Intercept]