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Reality Winner Wants Biden Answer on 'Glaring Discrepancy'

Jailed for leaking intel report, she wants to know why she's behind bars for longer than Russian spy
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 27, 2021 6:09 AM CDT
Updated May 1, 2021 12:08 PM CDT

(Newser) – Reality Winner, who's been behind bars for nearly four years, is set to be released from prison at the end of November, with a chance she could be sent to a halfway house before that. But the 29-year-old Air Force veteran—who leaked a classified National Security Agency report about Russian interference in the 2016 election to the media—still has a big question for the current administration. Last week she was able to ask it, thanks to her mother passing it along to Hunter Walker, a reporter for the political newsletter The Uprising. Walker posed the question to White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Friday: "Under the previous administration, I received more time than an actual Russian spy. Is the Biden administration interested in correcting this glaring discrepancy in judicial outcomes?"

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Winner's query referenced Maria Butina, the Russian agent who was sent to prison for a comparatively more lenient 18 months. Walker says Psaki "declined to comment," and that she also wouldn't remark on whether Biden was mulling over Winner's clemency request. "I hope some of my former colleagues in the White House press corps will also keep asking [these] questions," he posted on Monday. As for Winner's mom, Billie Winner-Davis, who's been a vocal advocate for her daughter, she made her own plea on Twitter. "She gave us the truth about Russian attacks on our voting systems in 2016 when the administration was lying to us," Winner-Davis tweeted on Sunday of her daughter. "She is one of the reasons our 2020 vote was safe. It's time to #FreeRealityWinner." (Winner's five-year sentence is the longest ever over a media leak.)

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