The prime suspect in the leak of a trove of stolen Central Intelligence Agency documents that appeared on WikiLeaks previous year has been identified as a Manhattan man who is behind bars even though he hasn't been charged in the case.
The disclosure constituted one of the largest breaches of classified. However, the search failed to turn up evidence prosecutors need to indict Schulte on the leaking charges, according to The Washington Post, which was first to report the news.
Schulte's defense attorney said in court that the government's reasoning used to obtain search warrants for Schulte's property were "just flat inaccurate and not true".
Schulte worked in the CIA's Engineering Development Group, which produced the computer code, according to people with knowledge of his employment history as well as the group's role in developing cyberweapons. "The government immediately had enough evidence to establish that he was a target of that investigation".
A man suspected of being behind the Vault 7 leak of U.S. security services' hacking tools has been named - but the suspect, Joshua Adam Schulte, has been charged instead with harbouring as many as 10,000 images of child abuse on his PC.More news: IMD forecasts thunderstorms, squalls in several parts of India till Friday
On Friday, Manhattan federal prosecutor Matthew Laroche estimated in court that charges against Schulte are 45 days away. "In April or May of 2017, the government had full access to his computers and his phone, and they found the child pornography in this case, but what they didn't find was any connection to the WikiLeaks investigation", Kaplan said. Schulte's lawyer Sabrina P. Shroff stated that: "This case has been dragging since August 2017". Authorities searched his apartment in NY past year in hopes of finding evidence of sharing secret documents with WikiLeaks, going through his computers and handwritten notes.
Schulte is in a Manhattan jail on charges of possessing, receiving and transporting child pornography, according to an indictment filed in September. Anywhere from 50 to 100 people had the ability to access the server, Schulte argued, implying the pornography could have been put there by someone else, The Washington Post reported.
The investigators claim that Schulte operated a server containing 54 gigabytes of child abuse images. The former prosecutor, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss an open investigation, also said that if government lawyers acknowledged in a public hearing that Schulte was a target, they probably suspect he acted alone.
He is suspected of passing classified information to the WikiLeaks website.
The CIA declined to comment. He then left the intelligence community in 2016 and started working in the private sector. The statement said he later reported "incompetent management and bureaucracy" at the CIA to the agency's inspector general and a congressional oversight committee. "They conducted a number of search warrants on the defendant's residence".