Ex-CIA employee identified as suspect in 'Vault 7' leaks

Wednesday, 16 May, 2018

The 8,000-plus pages of documents that WikiLeaks obtained in March 2017 detailed how the Central Intelligence Agency breaks into computers, smartphones, messaging applications and television sets.

Schulte's lawyer, Sabrina Shroff of the federal public defender's office, accused the feds of dragging their feet. Prosecutors say he used the program at his apartment in NY, but they haven't provided evidence that he did it to leak classified information.

"Due to these unfortunate coincidences the Federal Bureau of Investigation ultimately made the snap judgement that I was guilty of the leaks and targeted me", Schulte told the Post for the story published Tuesday.

"Those search warrants haven't yielded anything that is consistent with [Schulte's] involvement in that disclosure", Matthew Laroche, an assistant United States attorney in the Southern District of NY, said in a January hearing regarding the Vault 7 case.

As CBS News reported past year, the stolen documents describe clandestine methods for bypassing or defeating encryption, antivirus tools and other protective security features meant to keep the private information of citizens and corporations safe from prying eyes. It was then a series of unlucky coincidences, he said, that led the government to focus in on him as a suspect in the leak investigation.

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

The FBI agents managed to obtain multiple computers, servers and storage devices from Schulte's home, including an "encrypted container, approximately 54 GB in size", which held the child pornography.

Prosecutors said in court last week that they plan to file a new indictment in the next 45 days.

Schulte, who also worked for the NSA before joining the CIA, left the intelligence community in 2016 and took a job in the private sector, according to a lengthy statement he wrote that was reviewed by The Post.

For reasons that are still unknown, Schulte hasn't been charged in the case despite being arrested more than a year ago.

Schulte also claimed that he reported "incompetent management and bureaucracy" at the CIA to that agency's inspector general as well as a congressional oversight committee. The documents themselves covered a period from 2013 to 2016, when Schulte had been employed at the agency.

He said the complaints made him appear to be a disgruntled employee and a planned vacation to Mexico with his brother gave the impression he was trying to flee the country. Following the search of his apartment in March 2017, prosecutors waited six months to bring the child pornography charges. They conducted a number of search warrants on the defendant's residence.