Ex-CIA Programmer Accused Of Leaking Data To WikiLeaks Convicted In ‘Espionage’ Case
UNITED STATES - MARCH 03: The seal of the Central Intelligence Agency, on the floor of the foyer at the CIA Headquarters, in Langley, VA is shown in a photo taken Thursday, March 3, 2005.
Photo by Dennis Brack/Bloomberg via Getty Images.

An ex-CIA programmer on Wednesday was convicted of nine counts in an “espionage” case by a federal jury after authorities accused him of leaking “critical intelligence” to WikiLeaks

Joshua Adam Schulte, a former CIA programmer, was convicted Wednesday of sending thousands of files, collectively known as “Vault 7,” to WikiLeaks in 2017. He was charged by federal authorities with sending classified materials to an outside party the following year.

“Schulte was aware that the collateral damage of his retribution could pose an extraordinary threat to this nation if made public, rendering them essentially useless, having a devastating effect on our intelligence community by providing critical intelligence to those who wish to do us harm,” said U.S. Attorney Damian Williams. 

Williams added that Schulte had now “been convicted for one of the most brazen and damaging acts of espionage in American history.”

Before his ousting from the CIA, Schulte worked in Langley, Virginia, developing hacking tools for the agency. The files he leaked were related to attempts to use televisions connected to the internet for spying purposes and hacking smartphones. 

The 33-year-old said that he was being unfairly blamed for the leaks, while prosecutors said Schulte waged an “information war” against the government while incarcerated.

Williams said in his statement that Schulte had access to cyber tools that allowed the U.S. to “battle terrorist organizations and other malign influences around the globe.”

“When Schulte began to harbor resentment toward the CIA, he covertly collected those tools and provided them to WikiLeaks, making some of our most critical intelligence tools known to the public – and therefore, our adversaries,” he said. 

During the trial, Schulte maintained his innocence. He said that hundreds of other people had access to the information that could have been responsible for the leaks.

“The government’s case is riddled with reasonable doubt,” he said. “There’s simply no motive here.”

While the jury was deliberating, the judge in the New York City courtroom told Schule that “depending on what happens here, you may have a future as a defense lawyer,” in response to his closing statements.

While Schulte said he was innocent, prosecutors pointed to a to-do list from the ex-programmer saying “Delete suspicious emails,” and said that he had broken into a sensitive system. 

“He’s the one who broke into that system,” U.S. Attorney David Denton said. “He’s the one who took that backup, the backup he sent to WikiLeaks.”

Schulte now faces up to 80 years in prison.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Ex-CIA Programmer Accused Of Leaking Data To WikiLeaks Convicted In ‘Espionage’ Case