Former CIA Employee Indicted in Leak of Classified U.S. Secrets

(Bloomberg) -- A former CIA employee has been indicted on federal charges of leaking classified national defense secrets.

Joshua Adam Schulte, 29, was charged in a 13-count superseding indictment on Monday, about 10 months after he was first arrested on charges of possession of child pornography, federal officials said in New York.

Prosecutors said Schulte stole the classified information in 2016 and passed it to an outside organization that wasn’t named in court papers, but was identified by the New York Times as WikiLeaks. “The organization purports to publicly disseminate classified, sensitive, and confidential information,” the Justice Department said in a statement, which added that the organization released the information on March 7, 2017.

On that day, WikiLeaks called the release “the largest ever publication of confidential documents by the agency.” It said that the documents had come from the Central Intelligence Agency’s Center for Cyber Intelligence in Langley, Virginia.

“Leaks of classified information pose a danger to the security of all Americans,” Assistant Attorney General John Demers said in a statement. “Schulte utterly betrayed this nation and downright violated his victims.”

In addition to stealing highly classified secrets, Schultz illegally accessed a U.S. computer system, attempted to delete his digital activity and then lied to FBI investigators, according to the 13-page indictment.

Federal agents who had been investigating the theft of classified material “also discovered alleged child pornography in Schulte’s New York City residence,” the indictment said. He has plead not guilty to those charges, according to reports by various news organizations.

Court papers don’t specify the nature of the documents Schulte allegedly stole. He is being held in federal custody in New York, according to court records. His lawyer didn’t immediately return an email seeking a comment on the charges.

Schulte worked at the National Security Agency from January to May 2010 and for the Central Intelligence Agency from May 2010 to November 2016. After he left the CIA, he worked briefly for Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News, leaving the company in March 2017.

The case is U.S. v. Schulte, 17-cr-548, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.

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