CIA 'Vault 7' Leak Suspect Charged with Possession of Child Pornography

CIA 'Vault 7' Leak Suspect Charged with Possession of Child Pornography

Prosecutors said in court last week that they plan to file a new indictment in the next 45 days, and Mr. Schulte's lawyer, Sabrina P. Shroff of the federal public defender's office, asked the court to impose a deadline on any charges that the government sought to bring under the Espionage Act for supplying the secret C.I.A. files to WikiLeaks.

He is suspected of passing classified information to the WikiLeaks website.

In court in January, a prosecutor, the assistant United States attorney Matthew J. Laroche, said that "the government immediately had enough evidence" to make Mr. Schulte a target of the investigation.

The hearing transcript continues: "Even more troubling, which wasn't really addressed by defence counsel, is that the defendant or someone in his apartment was using Tor in his apartment during the time when he was on pre-trial release, and this is extremely troubling to the government because Tor is a way to establish anonymous connections to various internet locations to hide the person who is actually accessing those sites".

Following the filing of the August charges, Schulte was told not to leave New York City and to stay off computers.

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Schulte's father, Roger, said he was scared to death.

However, he is facing unrelated charges in the New York Southern District court for possession and distribution of child abuse images. He has pleaded not guilty.

However, Laroche says the investigation "is ongoing" with Schulte remaining "a target of that investigation".

In documents, prosecutors allege that they found a large cache of child pornography on a server that was maintained by Schulte. Schulte said 50 to 100 people had access to the server, created to share movies and other files.

Authorities appeared to piece together several bits of information to come up with the theory Schulte is responsible for the leak.

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A source with knowledge of what Schulte did at the Central Intelligence Agency told the Washington Post he coded for the Engineering Development Group (EDG), a group involved in the development of cyber weapons.

Spokesmen for the C.I.A. and the Justice Department declined to comment.

Schulte said in the statement that he joined the intelligence community to fulfill what he saw as a patriotic duty to respond to the attacks of September 11, 2001. The statement said he later reported "incompetent management and bureaucracy" at the CIA to the agency's inspector general and a congressional oversight committee. He left the agency in November 2016 and moved to NY to work for Bloomberg L.P.as a software engineer.

"Due to these unfortunate coincidences the Federal Bureau of Investigation ultimately made the snap judgment that I was guilty of the leaks and targeted me", Schulte said. It turns out that the search warrants did find information of interest - just not limited to the leak investigation. Instead, authorities charged him in August with possessing and transporting child pornography.

Laroche said he disagreed with Schulte's lawyer at the time, who claimed the search warrants had not yielded anything consistent with the material released by WikiLeaks.

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