NSA contractor admits leaking top-secret document but doesn’t call himself a traitor

An NSA contractor who admitted to leaking a top-secret document to a reporter said Saturday that he will plead guilty but would not call himself a traitor.

The Associated Press, which first reported the story, said the email was written by Reality Leigh Winner, an Army National Guard linguist who worked for a contractor from Pluribus International Corp. in Augusta, Ga. The AP reported that Winner admitted providing the classified document to The Intercept website.

The AP said the emails were sent on Dec. 8.

Defense attorney Titus Anderson told the AP that Winner, an ethnic Korean who moved to the United States from Malaysia in 2012, worked for Pluribus since July and is married with two children. He said Winner’s decision to plead guilty to a single federal offense was a “mutual decision” between his client and the government.

“I am not a traitor,” the email said. “I love my country and have the utmost respect for its leaders.”

FBI special agent Don Bryant, who investigated the leak, will be the government’s star witness during a Jan. 29 sentencing hearing in Augusta. Officials said the hearing will be conducted in closed court.

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