US Identifies Suspect in Leak of CIA Hacking Tools

US Government Plans To Indict Alleged CIA Leaker

Federal Bureau of Investigation agents searched his Manhattan pad a week after WikiLeaks released the first of the Central Intelligence Agency documents in March 2017, and also stopped him from flying to Mexico, confiscating his passport, The Times reported, citing documents and sources.

Prior to joining the CIA, Schulte worked for the National Security Agency.

The Post reports that federal prosecutors obtained a search warrant previous year for personal computers and hand-written notes from Schulte's apartment, but that investigators didn't find any evidence linking Schulte to the disclosure.

The software engineer, who denies the charges, is now being held in a Manhattan jail after violating his bail terms. Lawyers for Schulte say dozens of people has access to the server he started in 2009.

But the Federal Bureau of Investigation cited IRC chats between Schulte and others in which he allegedly indicated that he knew about the types of illegal material that were being stored on his server. What's on the public record now is that Schulte uses Tor, anonymity software used by millions of people, and that he planned to leave the country previous year - a trip he says was for a family vacation to Cancun. He was thrown back in jail in December when he violated that order.

Joshua A. Schulte
Joshua A. Schulte

"The fact that the defendant is. using Tor from his apartment, when he was explicitly told not to use the internet, is extremely troubling".

"None of that happened", said Jacob Kaplan, one of Schulte's attorneys, according to a court transcript. "Virginia just didn't do anything in this case".

Lawyers for Schulte have repeatedly called for a decision to be made in relation to the accusations he was behind the Vault 7 leak. Prosecutors said in court last week they plan to file a new indictment in the next 45 days, according to the Times. But that failed to provide the evidence that prosecutors needed to indict Schulte with illegally giving the information to WikiLeaks.

But at Schulte's January detention hearing, Kaplan signaled his and his client's frustration with the investigation. "The government immediately had enough evidence to establish that he was a target of that investigation", Laroche said. Laroche was actually describing a "characterization" by Schulte's attorneys and expressing disagreement. The anti-secrecy group published the code under the label "Vault 7" in March 2017. Hopefully more information will come out.

But Schulte has not faced charged in connection with the theft - though he was busted on unrelated kiddie porn charges. Photos of the assault - some of which included Schulte's hands - were allegedly found on Schulte's phone, Laroche said at the hearing.

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