U.S. names suspect in Vault 7 leaks, but unable to file charges

Geneva Stokes
May 16, 2018

The Washington Post first reported on Schulte's relation to the case.

At the time of the leaks past year, the CIA released a sombre statement: "The American public should be deeply troubled by any WikiLeaks disclosure created to damage the Intelligence Community's ability to protect America against terrorists and other adversaries".

He is suspected of passing classified information to the WikiLeaks website. 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. The documents allegedly revealed details about the Toolkit of American cyber espionage.

According to the report, Schulte worked for the the CIA's engineering development group until 2016, a position that would have given him access to the thousands of agency documents that were handed over to WikiLeaks in 2017.

The CIA said that the WikiLeaks cables about the hacker's methods of surveillance of the users may damage the capabilities of the intelligence community.

Schulte is now detained in a Manhattan jail on child pornography charges.

An assistant United States attorney, Matthew Larouche, claimed during a court hearing in January that "the government immediately had enough evidence" to investigate Schulte as a suspect in the Vault 7 leaks.

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A government prosecutor disagreed with what he called the "characterization" by Schulte's attorney that "those search warrants haven't yielded anything that is consistent with [Schulte's] involvement in that disclosure". Schulte is now in a Manhattan jail on charges of possessing, receiving and transporting child pornography, after prosecutors allege they found a large cache of child pornography on a server that was maintained by Schulte. Prosecutors say he had a cache of it on a server he maintained. He denies those charges, saying the server the material was discovered on was available for use by as many as 100 other people.

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 FBI said they removed NSA and Central Intelligence Agency paperwork from Schulte's home, as well as a personal computer, tablet, phone and other electronics.

He also said that because of 'unfortunate circumstances the Federal Bureau of Investigation ultimately made the snap judgement that (he) was guilty of the leaks and targeted (him)'.

Schulte said he had also been planning a vacation with his brother to Cancun, Mexico, which may have given the appearance that he was trying to flee the country.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew J. Laroche contended that either Schulte or his cousin were also using Tor, the anonymizing browser that offers more privacy when browsing the internet, conducting online chats or transferring data.

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