Prosecutors have formally accused Joshua Schulte, a former employee of the US National Security and Central Intelligence Agency, of leaking classified information to WikiLeaks on June 18. Schulte is allegedly behind the Vault 7 releases, the largest leak of classified information from inside the CIA.
The Department of Justice announced Schulte’s indictment in a press release, accusing him of allegedly using “his access at the agency to transmit classified material to an outside organization.”
On June 19, WikiLeaks posted several undated documents allegedly written by Schulte himself. The documents are a sort of first-person diary chronicling Schulte’s arrest, life in jail, and court appearances. The documents were first published on a Facebook page identified by The Washington Post as belonging to Schulte.
“As I sit in the back of the car I wonder the true necessity of breaking into someone’s residence in the early morning with 10 armed agents who know full well that I am not a threat. Perhaps it’s just protocol? Or is there some more nefarious purpose such as an attempt at intimidation?” Schulte allegedly writes in the first letter, titled “Presumption of Innocence: A petition for a redress of grievances.”
“Somehow I doubt Paul Manafort or any wealthy individual suspected of a crime is treated this way,” the letter reads, referring to former Donald Trump campaign manager.
It’s unclear if these letters were in fact written by Schulte. Schulte’s lawyers did not immediately respond to a request for comment. WikiLeaks also did not respond when asked via Twitter direct message whether the organization had verified the author of the missives.
Schulte, 29, was previously charged with possession of child pornography. The feds allegedly found child abuse imagery on Schulte’s computer when they raided his apartment in March of 2017, just days after WikiLeaks began publishing the Vault 7 series of leaks.
Prosecutors allege that Schulte maintained an online server with some friends when he was in his early twenties. On this server, Schulte shared pirated material, coding projects, and personal pictures and videos, as Motherboard reported.
“It was like any internet chat room. [We] would talk about loads of things. Programming was always a big part of it,” said a person who used to know Schulte at the time, and had access to the server and a chat room hosted on it.
The person, who asked to remain anonymous, told me that Schulte was politically minded and often used vulgar language.
“He used to talk about n's and sand n's (arabs I guess) [sic],” the person said, adding that they were surprised Shulte turned into a government employer and, allegedly, a leaker. “I seem to remember that he would often call people that weren't doing their duty 'pussies.'”
In a pseudonymous Twitter account that Schulte used while at the CIA, he wrote that WikiLeaks leaker Chelsea Manning “should be executed.”
At the end of the first letter published by WikiLeaks on Tuesday, the author shares his thoughts about being sent to jail with no bail.
“The judge states that the evidence presented by the government in the complaint is so strong, and that since my lawyer could not adequately rebut their argument of dangerousness his viewpoint is that there is no way I am innocent,” the letter reads. “I am immediately remanded. My case begins with a guilty verdict and denial of all civil rights.”
Correction: This article was originally posted with the headline "WikiLeaks Publishes Alleged Diaries of Accused CIA Leaker Joshua Schulte." But the documents in question were first posted in April to the Facebook page " John Galt’s Legal Defense Fund," which allegedly belongs to Schulte. This story has been updated to reflect that fact. Motherboard regrets the error.
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