A trio of PR firms is behind the push to grant clemency for Air Force veteran Reality Winner, the 28-year-old who was sentenced for leaking a classified report on Russian hacking to The Intercept.
Winner’s family has enlisted the services of Goodman Media International (New York), The Buzzell Co. (Dallas) and TK/Communications (Los Angeles). The shops are working on a pro bono basis.
GMI chief Tom Goodman is a PR veteran of CBS, ABC and J. Walter Thompson; Barbara Buzzell worked as PR chief/fashion director at I. Magnin, and TK/C’s Yusef Robb served as communications director for Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.
Winner, a former National Security Agency contractor, served almost three years of the five-year sentence that she received in 2018.
The former translator at Pluribus International smuggled a top-secret report about hacking attacks launched by Russian intelligence agencies on the 2016 presidential election.
A US attorney said Winner “caused exceptionally grave damage to US security” because she revealed undercover sources and intelligence-gathering methods.
Winner’s family held a press conference in Dallas on Feb. 17 and petitioned the Justice Dept.’s Office of the Pardon Attorney on her behalf. Billie Winner-Davis said her daughter, who is locked up in Fort Worth, is showing signs of significant stress.
The New York Times, NBC News and Fox on Feb. 17 ran extensive stories about the press conference and Winner’s bid for clemency.
President Trump tweeted in 2018 that Winner’s sentence was “unfair” and that her actions were “small potatoes compared to what Hillary Clinton did.”
He called for a lighter sentence for his buddy, Roger Stone, who was convicted of obstruction of justice and perjury, on Feb. 11.
Trump on Feb. 18 granted a full pardon to former San Francisco 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo, Jr. who pleaded guilty in 2016 to paying a $400K bribe to ex-Louisiana Governor Edwin Edwards for a riverboat gambling license.
The president also commuted the 14-year sentence of ex-Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich, a 2010 guest on his “Celebrity Apprentice” reality show.
Trump told reporters that he commuted Blagojevich's sentence after watching his wife, Patti, plead for his clemency on television.